May 13

History events
1534 — (28th of Iyar, 5294) The first Hebrew printing press in Poland located in Cracow published its first book Sha’arei Duro a code of dietary laws by Rabbi Isaac ben Reuben
1728 — (16th of Sivan, 5488) Hayyim and Joshua Reizes of Lvov (heads of the Rabbinical court and the yeshiva respectively) were arrested when a Jesuit priest, Zoltowskiki, discovered that Jan Filipowicz (soon tortured and killed), a convert, had reconverted to Judaism. They were accused of complicity. Condemned to death, Joshua committed suicide by cutting his own throat. For three days his brother Hayyim refused to convert to Christianity. His tongue was then torn out, his body quartered, and he was finally burnt. Their property was then confiscated
1837 — (8th of Iyar, 5597) The Jews of Leipzig were given permission to organize as a religious community and establish a synagogue
1906 — (18th of Iyar, 5666) The Bezalel Art School opened in Jerusalem
1919 — (13th of Iyar, 5679) During the Russian Civil War the Jews of Boguslav, a city in the Kiev district of the Ukraine were attacked by gangs of marauding peasants that killed 20 Jews
1929 — (3th of Iyar, 5689) In Palestine, The Mandatory Government announces an immigration quota of 2.400 permits for a half-year period, beginning in April
1939 — (24th of Iyar, 5699) SS St Louis departs Hamburg for Cuba with 937 Jews on board. This tragic episode was portrayed in the book and the film, Voyage of the Damned. Having been denied entrance to Cuba, the ship was turned away from the United States. Steaming off the shore of Florida, the refugees could see the lights of Miami. Coast Guard vessels tracked the ship to make sure nobody escaped and to keep the captain from running his ship aground in American waters. In the end, the ship returned to Europe. About half of the passengers survived the war.
1948 — (4th of Iyar, 5708) The Arab Emergency committee and the Haganah High Command signed the terms for the Arab surrender of the town of Jaffa. Despite Jews pleas to stay, 67,000 of the city’s 70,000 inhabitants of the city left, many by boat for Lebanon; On the day before Israel declares her independence, Arab irregulars perpetrate The Kfar Etzion massacre. Armored cars of the Arab Legion broke through the final defense line of Kfar Etzion. In the last message sent by the defenders to Jerusalem, the defenders described “a Masada –like battle.” The handful of Jewish defenders came out under a white flag and surrendered. Fifteen of the defenders stacked their weapons, and then, lined up to be photographed. Instead of the click of the camera, the Jews were treated to a burst of machinegun fire that killed all of them. Was this planned or a freak accident? To this day, the question has never been answered. The victorious Arab Legion did kill an Arab family that had remained in Kfar Etzion with their Jewish friends.
1953 — (28th of Iyar, 5713) The Jerusalem Post reported that a Bill had been introduced in the Knesset by the Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Benzion Dinur, for the establishment of «Yad Vashem» (an everlasting name), for the memory of the six and a half million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and were granted Israeli honorary citizenship. The Yad Va’Shem archives and museum were to be set up in Jerusalem, «The Heart of the Jewish People
1960 — (16th of Iyar, 5720) “Papyri Found In Judean Cave Identified As Letters From Bar Kochba” published today described the discovery of “eleven letters, written by Simon Bar Kochba” “in a cave near the Dead Sea.”
1965 — (11th of Iyar, 5725) Germany established diplomatic relations with Israel. Several Arab nations broke ties with West Germany after it established diplomatic relations with Israel
1967 — (3th of Iyar, 5727) Egyptian troops move into the Sinai, which is a demilitarized zone. Egypt radio sets the tone of propaganda («Egypt, with all its resources, is ready to plunge into a total war that will be the end of Israel»)

1636 — (8th of Iyar) Rabbi Menahem Monish Chajes of Vilna passed away today
1799 — (8th of Iyar, 5559) Isaiah Berlin an 18th century German Talmudist passed away
1839 — (24th of Iyar, 5699) Rabbi Israel Ashkenazi of Shklov, leader of the Aliya of the followers of the Gaon of Vilna to Eretz Yisrael passed away
1916 — (10th of Iyar, 5676) Sholem Aleichem passed away
1936 — (21st of Iyar, 5696) Two Jews, Ruben Klapholtz and Alter Cohen were shot to death by Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem today, one as he left his home and the other as he passed an Arab Cafte