-Rav Shlomo Eliezer Alfandri, the Maharsha Alfandri (1820-1930). Born in Istanbul, Rav Shlomo Eliezer served as the chief rabbi in Istanbul, Damascus, and subsequently in Tzefas for 20 years. He passed away at age 110 in Yerushalayim. Many of his halachic responses are included in his book, Saba Kadisha.
-Rav Mordechai Shraga Feivish Friedman of Husiatin (1835-1894). The sixth and youngest son of Rav Yisrael of Ruzhin, he married in 1850 (just four months before the petira of his father) and established a Chasidic court in Husyatin in 1861. As a result, the city became one of the most important Chasidic centers in Galicia, Jews comprising 4197 of the town’s 6060 residents in 1890. Sadly, the golden age did not last for long. Husyatin was heavily damaged during World War I, then destroyed during World War II.
Today in History – 22 Iyar
· Jews of Sicily were forbidden to display any funeral decorations in public, 1393.
· Antonio Robles, a successful Marrano merchant in England, had his goods confiscated at the outbreak of the war with Spain, 1656. Robles contended that he was a Portuguese “of the Hebrew nation” and not Spanish – and therefore his property should be returned to him. In this landmark case the Council decided in his favor, strengthening the position of the community and opening the door for allowing Jews to live in England as Jews.
· All Hebrew books found in the Papal States were confiscated, 1731.
· A revolt of the Arabs of Eretz Yisrael against Muhammad Ali, the governor of Egypt, who took the land from the Turks in 1834, and imposed mandatory military duty on all Muslim inhabitants of the land. On On 22 Iyar, (May 31), the rebels occupied and took control of Yerushalayim. On 28 Iyar (June 3), Ibrahim Pasha, the general of Muhammad Ali, came to Yerushalayim with a large force with him, and the rebels fled.
· Romanian government granted citizenship to all native-born Jews, 1919.
· The Jewish autonomous region in Birobidzhan was founded by Russia, 1934.
· Nazi deportation of Jews from greater Hungary to the extermination camps began, 1944.