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Aggadah

The Holy One, blessed be He, perceived that righteous people are few, He therefore planted them in every generation, as it is written (1 Sam. 2:8), “The pillars of the earth are God’s; He has set the world on them.”

Yoma Chapter 3

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13 June in History

Birthdate of Esther Ofarim (1941), a sabra who became a popular Israeli entertainer and singer.

1 Tammuz in History

Joseph, the son of the patriarch Jacob, was born in Charan (Mesopotamia) on the 1st of Tammuz of the year 2199 from creation (1562 BCE), the first child of Jacob’s most beloved wife, Rachel, born after 7 childless years of marriage. He passed away on the same date 110 years later, in Egypt.

When Joseph was six years old, Jacob and his family returned to the Holy Land, eventually settling in Hebron. Though younger than 10 of his 11 brothers, he was his father’s favorite, and a great rivalry existed between him and his brothers, whose animosity toward him increased when he related two dreams he had forecasting that he is destined to rule over them.

When Joseph was 17, he was sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to Egypt; when he refused the advances of his master’s wife, she had him placed in prison, where he languished for 12 years. At age 30, he interpreted a pair of mysterious dreams dreamt by Pharaoh, and was appointed viceroy of Egypt to oversee the gathering and storage of grain in preparation for the seven years of famine that Pharaoh’s dreams had predicted. He married Asnat, and had two children, Menasseh and Ephraim.

The great famine brought his brothers to Egypt to purchase grain; after subjecting them to a series of trials to test their loyalty to each other and their remorse over what they had done to him, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, was reconciled with them, and settled his father and entire family — 70 souls in all — in Egypt.

Joseph passed away in Egypt on his 110th birthday, in 1452 BCE. The first of his brothers to die, he transmitted to them the divine promise to Jacob that his children will be taken out of Egypt and restored to their homeland, and made them promise to take his remains with them when they go.

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