It once happened that R. Eliezer was sitting and lectured a whole day (of the festival) about the laws relating to festivals.

The first part of his audience arose and went out, and R. Eliezer said: These people must have great barrels of wine, and they are in a hurry to drink them.

The second portion of the audience went away, and he said: These people must have smaller barrels.

Of the third part he remarked: They must have cans.

Of the fourth he said: They must have lugs.

When the fifth part left him, he said: They must have only goblets.

When the sixth part began to depart, he said: They are worthy to be scolded (because the college began to be empty).

At the same time he looked upon his disciples (who remained) and saw the color of their faces was changed (they were afraid what would be said of them when they left), and he said to them: My children, I did not mean you. I spoke only about those people who leave eternal life for temporary affairs.

When his disciples were going away, he said to them [Nehem. viii. 10]: “Go your way, eat fat things, drink sweet drinks, and send portions unto him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy unto our God: and do not grieve yourselves; but let the joy of the Lord be your stronghold.”

Beitza Chapter 2


17 January in History

In 2005, in London, survivors of the Lodz Ghetto gathered in London to view the unpublished photographs that Henry Ross had taken of the ghetto. Ross was the official of the photographer of the Jewish Council. Ross hid over three thousand negatives when the Germans liquidated the ghetto and shipped the survivors to Auschwitz.

Ross survived the war and moved to Israel where he died in 1991. His son gave the collection of photos to the Archive of Modern conflict in London in 1997. One hundred of the images were published in 2004 in the Lodz Ghetto Album.

12 Shevat in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Chaim Kapusi (~1540-1631). Born in Algiers, he moved with his family to Egypt in his early years. He became Rav and Dayan in Egypt and is buried in the Cairo Jewish cemetery. He authored Sifsei Chaim (unpublished) on the Sifri and the Mechilta, and Be’or Hachaim on Chumash, which was published about 300 years after his passing.