The students asked Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, “Why did the Manna not fall once a year?”

He responded, “I will explain it with a parable. There was once a king who had a son, and he gave him his stipend once a year. The son only came to visit his father once that year. The king then decided to give him his stipend every day. So too Israel, if a person had four or five children would be concerned that his children would die, perhaps there would not be more Manna. They would then pray to God daily.”

Yoma Chapter 8


12 August

In 30 BCE, today Cleopatra committed suicide. According to Josephus, the Egyptian tried to convince her lover and co-ruler, Marc Antony, to give her control over lands to the east including Syria and Palestine. Herod was so afraid of her that he reportedly built the fortress at Masada as place of refuge should she attack. While Antony did not give into all of her demands, he did give her control over Jericho and several towns surrounding the ancient city.

2 Elul in History

The first printing of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) authored by Rabbi Joseph Caro (1488-1575) was completed in the Holy Land on this date in 1555.