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R. Jeremiah asked R.. Zrika, “Why do we say the blessing (Blessed are You, God, ruler of the universe, who commanded us to take the Lulav) and only mention Lulav in the blessing (and not any of the other fruits)?”

He answered, “It is higher than the other kinds.”

“But let one lift up the citron, and pronounce the benediction over it?”

He answered, “Because by nature it grows higher than the other kinds.”

Sukkah Chapter 3




4 November in History

In 1956, an IDF force of 180 vehicles successfully made the trek through the Sinai wilderness and took Sharm es Sheikh from the Egyptians. After six hours of fighting, the IDF prevailed and opened the Straits of Tiran.

27 Cheshvan in History

On the 27th of Cheshvan of the year 1657 from creation (2104 BCE) “the earth dried” (Genesis 8:14) completing the 365-day duration of the great flood that wiped out all life on earth save for the eight human beings and and the animals (two of each species) in Noah’s ark; on this day God commanded Noah to “Come out of the ark” and repopulate, settle and civilize the earth.


When the greatest faith shines on the soul, the entire world is filled with light; a tremendous, inclusive capability,  the great light that shines on the soul of those who are holy to God, clinging to the Life of all the worlds.

Just as capability and limited strength appear at the beginning of one’s picture of holiness, so it grows and raises in the intelect and in action until: “You will decree, and it will be established for you; light will shine on your ways.” (Job 22:28)

Rav Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook


3 November in History

In 1604, today was the birthdate of Osman II, a Sultan who reigned during the 17th century which was a period of decline for the Ottoman Empire and its Jewish subjects. Unlike many of his predecessors, it appears that Osman did not employ an Jews as court physicians or close advisors.

26 Cheshvan in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Raphael Hoken of Hamburg (1723-1803). Born in Liphland to Rav Yekusiel Ziskind, the Rav of the town, Reb Raphael was taken to learn with the Shaagas Aryeh (the great Torah scholar), a relative of theirs, in Minsk, at the age of 12.

At the age of 19, Rav Raphael replaced his rebbi as Rosh Yeshiva in Minsk. Four years later, he was chosen as Rav of Rakow, and later of Smilowitz. In 1763, he became Rav in Pinsk. There he wrote Toras Yekusiel on Yoreh Deah, with an appendix of laws pertaining to agunos (married women who have been left by their husbands).

Later he became Rav in Posen, and in 1776 of the three kehillos of Atuna, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck (AH”U). He also authored Sheilos Hakohanim Torah on the service the priests served in the Temple, Sh’Ut Veshav Hakohen, Mapei Lahon on the prohibition of slander, and Daas Kedoshim.



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November 2010