26 February 2010

February 26 In Jewish History

11 BCE: According to some sources, the day on which Herod dedicates the renovated Holy Temple in Jerusalem. According to Heinrich Graetz, the building project began in 20 BCE, the 18th year of Herod's reign. A year and half later, (18 BCE) the inner part of the Temple was finished. It took another eight years to build the outer walls, courts and galleries. The dedicatory celebration took place on "the very anniversary of the day when twenty years previously, Herod, with blood stained hands, had made himself master of Jerusalem." Herod reportedly built this modernized version of the Second Temple because he loved to build things and because he was trying to show his Roman masters that he was the beloved ruler of his people. Regardless, in one sense, Herod sealed the doom of the Temple and the Jewish people because he placed it under the protection of Rome. What Rome protected Rome could destroy.

364: Valentinian I is proclaimed Roman Emperor. He was the last Emperor to rule the Empire alone. A month later, he would appoint his brother Valens Emperor in the East, while he would rule over the Western portion of the Empire. Valentinian belonged to a minority sect called the Arians. In an attempt to keep peace in the Empire, in 371 he issued a proclamation allowing Christians and Arians to practice their religious belief without incurring any "political disadvantage. This toleration was extended to the Jews."

1147: The Crusaders massacred the Jews of Wurtzburg

1418: Emperor Sigsmund issued commands to all the German princes and magistrates, cities and subjects, to allow the Jews the full enjoyment of the privileges and immunities given them by the Pope who had denounced attacks on the persons and property of the Jews and the practice of forced conversion.

1569: Pope Pius V ordered the eviction of all Jews from the Papal States (excluding Rome and Verona) who refuse to convert. Most of the approximately 1000 Jewish families decided to emigrate.

1920: Major General Louis Bols, the Officer Administering the Government of Palestine, issued an official proclamation that the British government intended to carry out the terms of the Balfour Declaration

1924: The trial against Hitler began in Munich. Hitler was on trial for his part in attempted coup that began in a Munich Beer Hall. The coup failed. Hitler was found guilty and sent to jail. While in jail, he wrote Mien Kampf. He was treated like a celebrity while in jail and came out stronger politically than when he went in.

1925: As a sign of the growing power of the Nazi Party, The Völkischer Beobachter the party's official newspaper begins publishing again.

1931(9th of Adar, 5691): Otto Wallach passed away at the age of 93. The German born chemist was a veteran of the Franco-Prussian War and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1910.

1934: The New York Times featured a review of "'The Dream of My People, a film described as "a screen trip though Palestine with Cantor Joseph Rosenblatt" produced by the Palestine-American Film Company.

1935: The Jerusalem Shopkeepers Association announced today that it will be conducting a one day work stoppage next week in a "a protest against rising rents and the refusal of the Municipal Council to pass a rent restriction law."

1939: Jews held protest demonstrations in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and several of the large kibbutzim this evening. The demonstrations were sparked by credible reports from London that the British government intends to create an independent Arab State in Palestine which will be structured in such a way to ensure that Jewish people will be permanently relegated to "minority status."

1939: Israel Rokach, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, sent a telegram to Colonial Secretary of Malcolm MacDonald expressing the displeasure of the 150,000 citizens of his city over what is reported to be the British decision to turn Palestine into an Arab State in which Jews will permanently be a minority. He wrote that "establishment of a Jewish National Home in the historic land of our ancestors was accepted by fifty-two nations as a sacred trust" and the Jewish people would never agree to accept this newly created permanent minority status.

1941: In the Netherlands, the citizens of Utrecht and Zaandam staged strikes protesting Nazi raids on the Jews.

1942: For twelve hours today, between midday and midnight, the Jewish population of Palestine observed a voluntary stoppage of all commercial and business. During this period all persons remained indoors in a self-imposed curfew, as a sign of mourning for the loss of the more than 700 Jews who died when the Struma, sank in the Black Sea north of the Bosporus. The Jewish passengers were trying to escape from Nazi dominated Europe and settle in Palestine, something opposed by the British and the Arabs.

1944: Primo Levy and Dr. Leonardo de Benedetti arrive at Auschwitz after a four day trip from a detention camp at Fossoli in central Italy.

1944: Shooting begins of the Nazi propaganda film, "The Fuhrer Gives a Village to the Jews" in Theresienstadt.

1946: As they searched for those responsible for last night's attacks on three RAF airfields that destroyed and/or severely damaged 22 aircraft, British troops "seized 5,000 Jews today and imposed a paralyzing night traffic ban throughout Palestine." The British have already found the body of a dead Jew near one of the airfield. The deceased is assumed to have been one of the attackers.

1946: A resolution is scheduled to be introduced today in the United States Senate that would call for a "Congressional investigation of the Palestine situation…The measure calls for a joint House-Senate committee to be sent to the Holy Land to investigate conditions there and report its findings to Congress."

The Jerusalem Post reported that an agreement on the future status of the Haifa Refineries was initialed by the representatives of the government, the Consolidated Refineries Ltd. and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Eilat was celebrated by a military parade attended by President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, and "a show of local achievements."

1969 (8th of Adar, 5729): Levi Eshkol passed away. Eshkol is one of the ironic characters in Jewish History. He was the Prime Minister sandwiched in between such giants as David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir. Yet this comparative political non-entity was the Prime Minister in 1967. He was the one who made the decisions that saved the state in those fateful days of May and June. And he was the Prime Minister who reunited Jerusalem and reclaimed the City of David.

1980: Egypt and Israel exchanged ambassadors for the first time.

1988: Naum Meiman a 77-year-old Soviet Jew who battled for 13 years to leave the Soviet Union embraced his daughter when he arrived in Israel today. Mr. Meiman hugged his daughter, Olga Plam, 50, of Boulder, Colo., who left the Soviet Union 14 years ago and had not seen her father since then. Meiman who is a mathematician said, "Some of us managed to get out. Many are still left behind.'' Soviet authorities said they delayed Mr. Meiman's emigration request because of his ''access to state secrets.'' Mr. Meiman had worked on classified calculations in 1955.

1991: The Bank of Israel said today that it would permit foreign companies to issue stocks and bonds on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. But the amount of money a foreign concern could take out of the country would be limited to 20 percent of any new issue. Previously the central bank had turned down applications by foreign firms to issue shares on the stock market. The change of policy "will make the Israeli stock market more international," said Gideon Schurr, speaking for the Bank of Israel."Now we need local investments, not Israeli investments abroad."

1993: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand. One of the bombers claimed the attack was in retaliation for American support of Israel. The bombers were later found to connected with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.

2008(20th of Adar I, 5768): Lt. Gen. Dan Shomron died in Israel. a former IDF chief of staff and the paratroop commander who planned and led the 1976 raid in which Israeli troops freed 103 hijacked hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. He was 70. He was the 13th Chief of Staff for the IDF.

More at http://thisdayinjewishhistory.blogspot.com/

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