The Holy One, blessed be He, names the evil inclination “evil,”– “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. Viii. 21).

Sukkah Chapter 5

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20 December in History

In 1924, Adolf Hitler freed from jail before completing his full sentence. This attests to his growing political power and popularity. Hitler had spent 8 months in Landsberg Prison for his role in the famed, failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. The term was a slap on the wrist and presaged the anarchy that would envelop the Weimar Republic. While in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, his “literary masterpiece” that was a blueprint for the havoc he would unleash on the world.

13 Tevet in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Moshe ben Dovid Biderman, the Lelover Rebbe (1776-1850 or 1851). Born in abject poverty, he married Rachel Rivka, a daughter of the Yid Hakadosh of P’shischa. After the latter’s death in 1813, he became a chasid of Rav Simcha Bunim of P’shischa, along with his friend, Rav Yitzchak of Vorki.

In 1843, he finally agreed to a leadership position, agreeing to be rav of the community of Przedborz, Poland. In the last years of his life, he decided to move to Eretz Yisrael. He and many of his Chasidim arrived at Akko on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan. He traveled to Yerushalyim, but immediately took ill. Tragically, between the illness and the Arabs, he was never able to daven at the kosel, his life-long dream. He was succeeded by his son, Rav Elazar Mendel, and a vibrant community of Lelover Chasidim still exist in Eretz Yisrael today.

Sadly, the community in Przedborz – about 4500 Jews – was demolished at Treblinka.