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When a person considers the lowly state one exists in without faith, a person who has purified their soul will be drawn to the substance of the ideal that in truth is the only path for an upright person to be drawn to.

At that time, he will find a strong desire for faith, and the exalted enjoyment, the light of God, will enliven him.

He will want to color his life with the acts and the external practices, which are fitting for the internal and ideal desire. On his own, he will make vows and accept commitments, and all the more so will be pleased with the all of the general vows, which are the inheritance of our fathers.

Rav Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook


2 February in History

In 1790, the United States Supreme Court meets for the first time. It would be one hundred and twenty six years before a Jewish jurist would be named to the High Court. By the second decade of the 21st century, 3 of the 9 justices were Jewish.

28 Shevat in History

On Shevat 28 (134 BCE?), Antiochus V abandoned his siege of Jerusalem and his plans for the city’s destruction. This day was observed as a holiday in Hashmonean times.

It once happened to Simeon of Teman that he did not visit the house of learning on a festival day. On the next day, Jehudah b. Baba asked him: “Why were you not in the house of learning yesterday?

He answered, ” The military come yesterday into the city, and wanted to rob the whole city; and we slaughtered for them calves, and made them eat, and they went away in peace.

R. Jehudah b. Baba replied, I wonder whether your loss was not greater than your benefit, for the Torah teaches “unto you,” you may cook, but not for non-Jews.

Beitzah Chapter 2

1 February in History

In 1799, the French army under Napoleon left for Palestine to forestall a Turco-British invasion through the Palestinian land-bridge.

27 Shevat in History

Rabbi Alexander Sender Schorr was a direct descendents of Rabbi Yosef Bechor Schorr of Orleans, one of the most famous of the French Tosafists. At a young age he was already appointed Chief Justice of the Rabbinic Court in the town of Hovniv which is directly outside of Lvov, Poland.

He authored the classic work on the laws of ritual slaughter called Simlah Chadashah, as well as a deeper commentary on those laws called Tevu’ot Shor.

The Simlah Chadashah has been reprinted more than one hundred times, and is the most widely used book to learn the laws of shechitah (ritual slaughter). Rabbi Alexander Sender Schorr passed away in the town of Zelkava on the 27th of Shevat in the year 5497 (1737).

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February 2011