January 23

History events
1490 — (1 Adar-1 5250) At Naples, the first printed edition of the Ramban’s “Sha’ar ha-Gemul,” The Gate of Reward, was published by Joseph ben Jacob Gunzenhauser. Gunzenhauser and his son Azriel had moved from southern Germany to Italy where “they produced various books, including a Hagiographa with rabbinical commentaries, Avicenna’s medical Canon, and Abraham ibn Ezra’s commentary on the Pentateuch.” Jacob passed away in 1490, the same that they published the Ramban’s seminal work
1492 — (24th of Shevat, 5252) At Brescia. Italy, Gershon Soncino produced the first printed Chumash with Megilot
1639 — (28th of Shevat, 5399) In Lima, Peru, at an Auto Da Fe, more than eighty New Christians were burned, including Francisco Maldonna de Silva (Elia Nazareno), after the Inquisition discovered that they were holding regular Jewish services. De Silva spent 12 years in prison, during which time he managed to write two books using a chicken bone and charcoal. Each book was about 100 pages. He succeeded in putting together a rope out of corn husks but instead of escaping he used it to visit other prisoners urging them to believe in Judaism
1904 — (6th of Shevat, 5664) Herzl was received by the Italian King, Vittorio Emanuele III. The king showed a serious interest in Zionism. But under the Italian political system, the king reigns but does not rule so it will be to Foreign Minister Tittoni to gain political support in Constantinople. Tittoni asked for a memorandum and promised to write to the Italian ambassador in Constantinople.
1921 — (14th of Shevat, 5681) “The Ohel Rachel Synagogue (Tent of Rachel), a Sephardi synagogue in Shanghai, China, built by Sir Jacob Elias Sassoon in memory of his wife Rachel, which was completed in 1920, was consecrated today under the leadership of Rabbi Hirsch. This marked the culminating achievement of Shanghai’s First Wave of Jewish immigrants and it was built to accommodate the community of Baghdadi Jews which at its peak numbered 700
1937 — (11th of Shevat, 5697) Today, the United Palestine Appeal released an economic survey on “How Many Jews Can Palestine Hold?” by Joseph L. Cohen, “a British member of the advisor of the committee on social insurance of the International Labor Organization” which show among other things that the “Jewish population” in Palestine had “increased from 17 to 30 per cent of the total population during the last few years” and that today, “there are forty-seven Jews to every 100 Arabs.”
1938 — (21th of Shevat, 5698) The Palestine Post reported that two Arabs, implicated in the murder of J.L. Starkey, a noted archaeologist who was excavating in Palestine, were hanged at Acre. The Motza brick and burnt-tile factory was completely gutted by fire. Arson by Arab terrorists was suspected. Ephraim Brin, 19, and Aziz Jacob, 17, both of Jerusalem, were the first Jews to be sentenced, under the newly created Military Courts, to five years’ imprisonment for carrying a pistol and a few rounds of ammunition
1950 — (5th of Shevat, 5710) Israeli Knesset resolved that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel
1953 — (7th of Shevat, 5713) The Jerusalem Post reported from New York that the Soviet Union was about to break diplomatic relations with Israel. The first five tons of the copper ore, excavated from Timna mine in the Negev, were sent for industrial tests to Europe
1968 — (22th of Tevet, 5728)Mapai, Ahdut HaAvoda and Rafi merged into the Israeli Labor Party and ceased to exist as individual entities
1978 — (15th of Shevat, 5738): A hundred thousand trees were planted on Tu Bishvat by the Jewish National Fund

1167 — (1 Adar-1 4927) Abraham ibn Ezra, Bible exegete and poet, died