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Aggadah

The rabbis taught: Ben Kamtsar did not want to teach the art of writing. It was said of him: He used to take four quills between his four fingers, and when he had to write a word of four letters, he wrote it at once.
The Rabbis asked him, “Why do you not teach it to others?”
He found no answer.
Therefore of the first (the families of Garmu and Avtinas it is said “The memory of the just is blessed”; and of Ben Kamtsar and his family it is said: “The name of the wicked shall rot.”

What is meant by “rot”? How can a name “rot”? R. Elazar said, “Their name will contract such a rottenness that children will not be named after them.”

Yoma Chapter 3

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8 June in History

In 1789, James Madison introduces a proposed Bill of Rights in the House of Representatives. Those favoring ratification of the U.S. Constitution promised that a Bill of Rights (what would be the first ten amendments to the Constitution) would be enacted as soon as the new federal government was formed. The First Amendment is of particular importance to adherents to a faith tradition in general and Jews in particular because it guarantees freedom of religion in the nation’s organic document. This has made the experience of Jews in the United States different from all other Diaspora Communities.

26 Sivan in History

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel. He lived in the Second Temple era and was a student of Hillel the Elder.
There is a Rabbinic saying that attests to his stature of scholarship and piety, “Hillel the Elder had eighty students. Thirty were worthy of the Divine Presence resting on them as it did for Moses; another thirty were worthy of having the sun stop as it did for Yehoshua the son of Nun. The other twenty were in between. The greatest of this group was Yonatan Ben Uziel.”

He wrote a translation on the Bible and the Books of the Prophets in Aramaic . This translation is printed in most Bibles.