Rabbi Mathia son of Harash said, “If a person has a sore throat, it is permitted to put drugs into his throat on Sabbath (usually, taking medicine on Shabbat is prohibited), because the disease may endanger his life, and what ever threatens a person’s life supersedes Sabbath.”

Yoma Chapter 8


17 August in History

In 1790, President George Washington visits Newport, Rhode Island, where he is given “the address of the ‘Hebrew Congregation of Newport’” that expressed their appreciation for the rights and liberties that the Jews enjoyed in the United States. It was in response to this document, that Washington wrote his famous reply guaranteeing the Jews religious liberty. He wrote:

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

7 Elul in History

Amram and Yocheved, Moses’s parents, had separated because of Pharaoh’s decree that all male Jewish babies be killed. Prompted by their six-year-old daughter Miriam’s rebuke, “Pharaoh decreed againsat the males; you decreed against the males and the females”, they remarried on the 7th of Elul of the year 2367 from creation (1394 BCE).

Moses was born six months and one day later on Adar 7, 2368 (Talmud, Sotah 12b).