You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.

God, the God (Ex 34:6).

These words mean, that I am God before a person sins, and after a person sins.

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


31 March in History

In 1851, today is the birthdate of Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell, the first native of New Zealand and the first Jew to serve as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

25 Adar in History

Death of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian emperor who conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the first Holy Temple 26 years earlier, died on the 25th of Adar of the year 3364 from creation. (Jeremiah 52:31).

That which causes faith to be seen in a deficient light, small and dark, causes heresy to cover faith’s head.

This is the trend of Divine Providence, in building the world with the existence of heresy and all of its theories, in order to awaken the power of life with faith with a complete heart, in order to raise faith to it’s highest levels, until it encompasses with it also the good elements that are in the theories of heresy, so that faith will be complete in its fullness.

Then, all the damage, that heresy brings on the world, will be changed for good; even the destructive force of heresy will return to the palace, full of splendor. ‘I will make the desert like Eden; and the desolate places like the garden of God.’ (Isaiah 51:3)

Rav Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook


30 March in History

In 1882, birthdate of Austrian-born English psychoanalyst and child psychologist Melanie Klein. Klein developed methods of play technique and play therapy in analyzing and treating child patients. She passed away in 1960.

24 Adar in History

On Adar 24, Czar Alexander I of Russia declared the Blood Libel — the infamous accusation that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood in the baking of matzah for Passover, for which thousands of Jews were massacred through the centuries — to be false. Nevertheless, nearly a hundred years later the accusation was officially leveled against Mendel Beilis in Kiev.

“God passed by before him and proclaimed.”

R. Johanan said: Had this Passage not been written, it would have been impossible to have said it, for it teaches us that the Holy One, blessed be He, wrapped Himself, as does a sage who recites the prayers for a congregation, and pointing out to Moses the regular order of prayer, said to him: Whenever Israel sins, let him pray to Me, after this manner, and I will pardon him.

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


29 March in History

In 1814, the King of Denmark officially allowed Jews to find employment in all professions and makes racial and religious discrimination punishable by law.

23 Adar in History

The Children of Israel began building the “Mishkan” (also called the “Tabernacle”–a portable sanctuary to house the Divine presence in their midst as they journeyed through the desert) on the 11th of Tishrei of the year 2449 from creation (1312 BCE) — six months after their Exodus from Egypt, three months after the revelation at Sinai, and 80 days after their worship of the Golden Calf. The construction of the Mishkan, which followed a detailed set of instructions issued to Moses on Mount Sinai, lasted 74 days, and was completed on the 25th of Kislev; but the Divine command to erect the edifice came only three months later, on the 23rd of Adar, when Moses was instructed to begin a 7-day “training period.”

During the week of Adar 23-29, the Mishkan was erected each morning and dismantled each evening; Moses served as the High Priest and initiated Aaron and his four sons into the priesthood. Then, on the “eighth day” — the 1st of Nissan — the Mishkan was “permanently” assembled (that is, put up to stand until the Divine command would come to journey on), Aaron and his sons assumed the priesthood, and the divine presence came to dwell in the Mishkan.

In memory of Raphael Dovid Hayman


R. Huna ben R. Jehoshua fell sick, and R. Papa went to visit him.

The latter saw that the end was near, and said to those present: “Make ready his provisions (shrouds).” Finally he recovered, and R. Papa was amazed to see him.

“Why did you think him so sick?” they asked. “He was indeed sick,” he replied, “but the Holy One, blessed be He, said that since he was always patient (with every one), he would be forgiven,” as it is written: “He pardons iniquity and forgives transgression.”

From whom does He remove iniquity? From one who forgives transgressions.

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


28 March in History

In 1938, Bronislaw Huberman leaves The Hague as he prepares to move to Tel Aviv where he will conduct the newly formed Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra.

22 Adar in History

The church and the government of Rome set Wednesday, March 6, 1430, as the day when all the Jews of Rome must convert or face death. On that day a great earthquake shook Rome and many of the archbishops and priests who conceived the decree were killed. Following the earthquake, Pope Martin V annulled the decree.

Early there was a statement that said, “Jews who sin with their body are destined to gehinam.”

What is meant by sinning with ones body? For a Jew, it is not placing Tefilin. For non-Jews, it is by committing the sin of adultery.

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


27 March in History

In 1847, today is the birthdate of German born chemist Otto Wallach. In 1910, he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

21 Adar in History

In the course of a fight with a Christian fisherman, a Jew dealt him a blow which led to his death. The infuriated Christians of Narbonne, France, started rioting and attacking the Jewish community.

The governor of Narbonne, Don Aymeric, quickly intervened, and dispatched a contingent of soldiers to protected the Jewish community. The riot was immediately halted and all the spoils stolen during the riots were returned to the Jews. The 21st of Adar was recorded as “Purim Narbonne,” a day when the community annually celebrated this historic event.

Say to them,
“So says God, the Master:
‘Behold, I will take the Children of Israel from among the nations,
Where they have gone to,
I will gather them from around
I will bring them to their land.

‘I will make them one nation in the land,
In the mountains of Israel.
One King will be for all of them a ruler:
They will no longer be two nations,
They will no longer be divided into two kingships.'”

Ezekiel 37:21-22


25 March in History

In 1880, in an article explaining the origins of Easter Eggs, the New York Times reports that “the old Jews introduced eggs at the feast of Passover…”

19 Adar in History

Following the War of Independance, Israel needed to secure its borders against the hostile Arab nations which surrounded it. Ein Gedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea, was secured on Sunday, March 20, 1949.

26 March in History

In 1931, today was the birthdate of Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame. The hand gesture that went with the Vulcan credo – Live long and prosper is the same gesture as that made by the Priests (Kohanim) when giving his benediction during services.

20 Adar in History

It was on this day that Choni the Circle Maker prayed for rain. The Talmud relates the following story:

“One year, most of Adar went by and it didn’t rain. They sent for Choni the Circle Maker. He prayed and the rains didn’t come. He drew a circle, stood in it and said: ‘Master of The World! Your children have turned to me; I swear in Your great name that I won’t move from here until You have pity on Your children.’ The rains came down.” (Talmud, Taanit 23a)

People who “sin with their bodies” are destined to be punished.

R. Itz’hak b. Abhin said, “Those who are now the handsomest of the people of Me’huzza (a city) will yet be called the children of Gehenna.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


24 March in History

In 1564, the Pope authorized the printing of the Talmud in Mantua on condition that the word Talmud would be omitted from the text. From the opening years of the sixteenth century, Mantua was a leading center of Jewish printing. A husband and wife duo, Abraham and Estellina Conat shared equally in printing and promoting Jewish texts. By the seventeenth century, the situation of the Jews of Mantua had worsened as they, like Italian Jews in many other cities, were forced to live behind Ghetto Walls.

18 Adar in History

When Governor of Georgia James Jackson resigned his post to serve as a US senator, the president of the Georgia Senate, David Emanuel, was sworn in as governor. March 3, 1801, was the first time that a Jewish person served as governor of a US state.

Emanuel served the remaining eight months of Jackson’s term, but did not seek re-election, opting instead to retire from politics. In 1812, Georgia named a new county in his honor: “Emanuel County.”

That which is written in books and appears in speeches about faith are ways of explaining that will bring a person to the internal kernel which is beyond contemplation and speech.

There are people who have no connection to that which is said in these books on faith. In their inner hearts they have the kernel, yet they act like fools when performing good deeds with their faith. These people are bad on the outside yet good on the internally, as is fitting for the era that proceeds the “heels of the messiah” which is a time of “externally bad, internally positive”; correlated to an donkey, which is an impure animal, yet has holiness buried inside it: it can take the place of a first born, and is raised above the limitations of that which is mundane yet pure.

Rav Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook


23 March in History

In 1907, in New York this evening, enough poor Jews presented their tickets which could be exchanged for 10 pounds of Matzoth and 5 pounds of floor to the store on Attorney Street, that 20,000 pounds of matzoth and 10,000 pounds of Matzah floor were needed to meet the demand.

17 Adar in History

In the year 91 BCE, Alexander Yannai of the Hasmonean family succeeded his brother Yehuda Aristoblus to the throne of Judea. Alexander Yannai was a Sadducee who virulently persecuted the Pharisees. At one point during his bloody reign, following a victory he scored on a battlefield, he invited all the Torah scholars for a celebratory feast. During this feast he was slighted by one of the guests, which led him to execute all the Torah scholars in attendance.

A few of the sages managed to escape to the town of Sulukus in Syria. There, too, they encountered anti-Semitic enemies who murdered many of the exiled sages. The handful of surviving Torah scholars went in to hiding, finding refuge in the home of an individual named Zevadai. On the night of the 17th of Adar they escaped the hostile city of Sulukus.

Eventually these surviving scholars revived Torah Judaism. The date they escaped the clutches of death was established as a day of celebration.

The school of Hillel says: The Merciful One inclines (the scale of justice) to the side of mercy, and of this third class of men (who were destined to for purgatory) David says [Psalms, cxvi. 1]: “It is lovely to me that the Lord hears my voice”; in fact, David applies to them the Psalm mentioned down to the words, “You have delivered my soul from death” [ibid. 8].

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


22 March in History
In 1929, a month long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv beings with a Purim Carnival.

16 Adar in History

Agrippa I, appointed by the Roman Emperor to rule over Judea, was pious and kind to his subjects. During his reign, the Jews began to prosper and live comfortably. The Sages of the time accorded him great respect.

Agrippa I started construction to repair, broaden and heighten the walls around Jerusalem. The Romans, wary of the Jews’ rising prosperity, placed many obstacles in his way. Nonetheless, the wall was completed, though the finished product was not as magnificent as originally planned.

The 16th of Adar, the day when the construction commenced, was instituted to be a joyous day.

The school of Shammai said: There are three divisions of mankind at the Resurrection: the wholly righteous, the utterly wicked, and the average class.

The wholly righteous are at once inscribed, and life is decreed for them; the utterly wicked are at once inscribed, and destined for Gehenna, as we read [Dan. xii. 2]: “And many of them that sleep in the dust will awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

The third class, the men between the former two, descend to Gehenna, but they weep and come up again, as it says [Zech. xiii. 9]: “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; and he will call on My name, and I will answer him.”

Concerning this last class of men Hannah says [I Sam. ii. 6]: “God causes to die and maketh alive, He bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up again.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


21 March in History

In 1861, a Jew by the name of Guranda who is the Editor of the Ost Deutsche Post was among those whom the city of Vienna has chosen to serve in the Provincial Diet.

15 Adar in History

The battles fought between the Jews and their enemies, which took place on Adar 13 throughout the Persian empire, continued for two days — Adar 13 and 14 — in the capital city of Shushan, where there were a greater number of Jew haters. Thus the victory celebrations in Shushan were held on the 15th of Adar, and the observance of the festival of Purim was instituted for that day in Shushan and all walled cities.

Rabbi Yehoshua B. Levi said, “Women are obligated in hearing of the Megilah (The Book of Ester), since even they were involved in the miracle.”

Tractate Megilah Chapter 1

Even they: It seems difficult to understand, since the women were the main players in brining about the miracle: in the times of Purim it was Ester, in the times of Chanukah it was Yehudit, and in the times of (the enslavement in) Egypt, it was the righteous women (who did no give up hope, as described elsewhere) in who’s merit we were redeemed from Egypt. So it the expression of “even they” seems to be misplaced.

Rather, “event they” were decreed to be put to death (as opposed as taken as part of the spoils of war).

Tosafot ibid.


20 March in History

It was on this day in 1897 that Yeshiva Rabbi Isaac Elhanan opened in New York as an Orthodox rabbinical seminary. It later expanded into Yeshiva University, with both Jewish and secular studies, a medical (Einstein) and a graduate school (Ferkauf).

14 Adar in History

Moses was born on the 7th of Adar of the year 2368 from creation (1393 BCE); accordingly, Adar 14 was the 8th day of his life and the day on which he was circumcised in accordance with the Divine command to Abraham.

The festival of Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”

The events of Purim extended over a period of several years, culminating in the victory celebrations of Adar 14-15 of 356 BCE

Shmuel said, “Does God desire sacrifices and offerings as much as listening to the voice of God? Listening is better then a fine offering. Attending is better than the fats of rams.”

Samuel I 15:22

18 March in History

In 1906, today was the birth of Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo officer who contributed so much to the Final Solution. Eichmann is the only person to ever be executed by the state of Israel.

12 Adar in History

After 334 years, the 2nd Holy Temple in Jerusalem was in disrepair. In the year 19 BCE, King Herod I floated the idea of rebuilding and renovating the Temple. Though many Jews were wary of Herod’s motives, the renovation was completed eight years later. The new structure was magnificent, causing the Talmud to state: “He who has not seen Herod’s edifice has not seen a magnificent edifice!”

19 March in History

In 1940, Vladimir Jabotinsky addressed a crowd of more than 5,000 supporters in New York demanding the “restoration of a Jewish state” in the area under British Mandate.

13 Adar in History

On the 13th of Adar of the year 3405 from creation (356 BCE), battles were fought throughout the Persian Empire between the Jews and those seeking to kill them in accordance with the decree issued by King Achashveirosh 11 months earlier.

(Achashveirosh never rescinded that decree; but after the hanging of Haman on Nissan 16 of the previous year, and Queen Esther’s pleading on behalf of her people, he agreed to issue a second decree authorizing the Jews to defend themselves against those seeking to kill them.)

75,000 enemies were killed on that day, and 500 in the capital, Shushan, including Haman’s ten sons (Parshandata, Dalfon, Aspata, Porata, Adalia, Aridata, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizata), whose bodies were subsequently hanged. The Jews did not take any of the possessions of the slain as booty, though authorized to do so by the king’s decree. (The Book of Esther, chapter 9).

Three books are opened on New Year’s Day: one for the utterly wicked, one for the wholly good, and one for the average class of people.

The wholly righteous are at once inscribed, and life is decreed for them; the entirely wicked are at once inscribed, and destruction destined for them; the average class are held in the balance from New Year’s Day till the Day of Atonement; if they prove themselves worthy they are inscribed for life, if not they are inscribed for destruction.

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


17 March 2011

In 1616, in Holland, under the rule of Prince Maurice of Orange, it is decided that each city could decide for itself whether or not to admit Jews. In those towns where they were admitted they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.

11 Adar 2011

Rashi, the most basic commentary on the Torah, was printed for the first time, in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. In this print, the commentary on the Five Books of Moses, authored in the 11th century by Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, was not on the same page as the text of the Scriptures, as it is normally printed today.

This was the first time that the rounded Hebrew font was used, the font which has since become known as “Rashi Letters.”

This year, the Fast of Ester is observed today.

The controls that faith places on a person, in terms of belief, is also a kindness in its justice, in relation to its external appearance, to order the events of your life.

Rav Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook


16 March in History

Today in 1900, Herzl, in his never ending quest to have the rich and powerful support the creation of a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel, had a luncheon with Eulenburg-Hertefeld, the German ambassador in Vienna.

19 Adar in History

Rabbi Judah ben Bezalel Lowe, known as the Maharal of Prague was famous among Jews and non-Jews alike. He was a mystic who was revered for his holiness and Torah scholarship, as well as his proficiency in mathematics, astronomy, and other sciences. Eventually, word of his greatness reached the ears of Emperor Rudolph II.

The Emperor invited the Maharal to his castle on February 23, 1592. There they conversed for one and a half hours, and developed a mutual respect for each other.

Rabbi Judah Lowe made use of his excellent connections with the Emperor, often intervening on behalf of his community when it was threatened by anti-Semitic attacks or oppression.

Some also include change of location as way that an evil decree is improved, as it is written [Gen. xii. 1 and 2]: “God said to Abraham, go for yourself from your land” (and afterwards), “I will make you into a great nation.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


15 March in History

In 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate. The Jews supported Caesar in his fight for power against Crassus and Pompey. Pompey had seized Jerusalem, violated the Holy of Holies and shipped thousands of Judeans off to the slave markets. Eight years later, Crassus came to Jerusalem and stole the Temple Treasury. As a reward for Jewish support, Caesar returned the port of Jaffa to Judean control. He instituted a more humane tax rate that took into account the Sabbatical Year. He allowed the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt and he allowed Jewish communities in the Italian peninsula, including Rome itself, to “organize and thrive.”

9 Adar in History

The schools of Shammai and Hillel for the very first time disagreed regarding a case of Jewish law. This occurred around the turn of the 1st century. In the ensuing generations, the schools argued regarding many different laws, until the law was established according to the teachings of the “House of Hillel” — with the exception of a few instances. According to tradition, following the arrival of the the Messiah the law will follow the rulings of the House of Shammai.

All throughout, the members of the two schools maintained friendly relations with each other.

“Repentance removes the evil decree,” we learn from Jonah, iii. 10: “And God saw their works that they had turned from their evil ways,” and immediately adds: “And God thought of the evil He had said He would do to them, and He did not do it.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


14 March in History

It was in this day in 1492 that Queen Isabella of Castile orders her 150,000 Jewish subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.

8 Adar in History

In 1715, the Crown Colony of Maryland enacted a law requiring any citizen who wished to hold public office to take an oath of abjuration, which contained the words, “upon the true faith of a Christian.” In 1776, the new constitution of the State of Maryland reaffirmed this law, requiring any oath of office to contain a declaration of belief in the Christian religion.

In the decades that followed, the struggle to repeal this law attracted national attention.

On February 26, 1825 an act “for the relief of the Jews in Maryland,” was passed by Maryland’s House of Delegates. The bill allowed every Jewish citizen to take an oath which professes his belief in a “future State of Rewards and Punishments, in the stead of the declaration now required by the Constitution and form of Government of this State.”

“Change of name removes the evil decree,” as it is written [Gen. xvii. 15]: “As for Sarai, your wife, you will no longer call her name Sarai, but Sarah will be her name,” and the text continues by saying [ibid. 16]: “Then will I bless her, and give you a son from her.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


13 March in History

From The Writers Almanac:
On this day in 1943, disillusioned German officers planned to assassinate Hitler. Hitler was to stop at Smolensk on his way to his headquarters and an officer who was not involved in the plot had been commissioned to deliver a package to Hitler’s plane— a package, he was told, contained two bottles of liquor for a friend in Rastenburg. A bomb in the package was timed to go off over Minsk, but the plane reached Rastenburg without the device detonating.

The package was later recovered, and it was found that the detonator was defective.

7 Adar in History

Moses was born in Egypt on the 7th of Adar of the year 2368 from creation (1393 BCE) and passed away on his 120th birthday — Adar 7, 2488 (1273 BCE).


It is I, I who erase your sins for My sake;
I will not remember your transgressions.

Isaiah 43:25


11 March in History

In 1853, today the the Jewish Disabilities Bill came up in the House of Commons for a second reading. Mr. Ernal Osborne argued “that religious liberty was violated in the exclusion of Jews from Parliament and thought the question not one of Jewish disabilities, but of the right of Christians to be represented by whom they pleased.” Several Members of Parliament “totally opposed the bill on Christian grounds.”

5 Adar in History

Moses passed away on the 7th of Adar 1273 BCE. Following God’s instruction that Joshua should succeed him and lead the Jewish nation into the Land of Israel, Moses transferred leadership duties to Joshua on the day before he passed away. The fifth day of Adar was the last day of Moses’ leadership.

12 March in History

In 1496, the Jews were expelled from Syria.

6 Adar in History

Moses completed the book of Deuteronomy, concluding his review of the Torah which he began several weeks earlier, on the 1st of Shevat. He then wrote down the completed Five Books of Moses, word for word, as dictated to him by God.

This scroll of the Torah was put into the Holy Ark, next to the Tablets of Testimony.

Prayer averts the evil decree, as is said, [Psalms, cvii. 19]: “They cry to the God when they are in distress, and He saves them out of their afflictions.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


10 March in History

In 1861, today is the birthdate of Meier Dizengoff. A native of Bessarabia, he would make Aliyah in 1905, help found Tel Aviv in 1909 and then became its first mayor.

4 Adar in History

The tragic saga of the imprisonment of Rabbi Meir ben Baruch (“Maharam”) of Rothenburg came to a close when his body was ransomed, 14 years after his death, by Alexander ben Shlomo (Susskind) Wimpen.

“Maharam” (1215?-1293) was the leading Torah authority in Germany, and authored thousands of Halachic responsa as well as the Tosaphot commentary of the Talmudic tractate Yoma. In 1283 he was imprisoned in the Ensisheim fortress and held for a huge ransom, but he forbade the Jewish community to pay it (based on the Talmudic ruling that exorbitant sums should not be paid to free captives, as this would encourage the taking of hostages for ransom). For many years Maharam’s disciple, R. Shimon ben Tzadok, was allowed to visit him in his cell and recorded his teachings in a work called Tashbetz.

Even after the Maharam’s passing in 1293, his body was not released for burial until it was ransomed by R. Alexander, who was subsequently laid to rest at his side.

There are two elements that need to be clear to stand on the correct outlook of faith: 1) The truth of God, 2) The great need for the community and individual to know this truth.

Rav Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook


9 March in History

In 1943, the Nazis continued the transport of Greek Jews from Salonika to Auschwitz. Salonika was an ancient Jewish community. It became a haven for Sephardic Jews when they fled Spain at the end of the fifteenth century. It was renowned center for kabalistic studies.

3 Adar in History

The joyous dedication of the second Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) on the site of the 1st Temple in Jerusalem, was celebrated on the 3rd of Adar of the year 3412 from creation (349 BCE), after four years of work.

The First Temple, built by King Solomon in 833 BCE, was destroyed by the Babylonians in 423 BCE. At that time, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied: “So says God: After seventy years for Babylon will I visit you… and return you to this place.”

In 371 the Persian emperor Cyrus permitted the Jews to return to Judah and rebuild the Temple, but the construction was halted the next year when the Samarians persuaded Cyrus to withdraw permission. Achashverosh II (of Purim fame) upheld the moratorium. Only in 353 — exactly 70 years after the destruction — did the building of the Temple resume under Darius II.

Charity saves from the evil decree, as it is written [Prov. x. 2]: “Charity delivers from death.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


8 March in History

In 1688, on this night a large group of secret Jews planned to escape from the island of Majorca by booking passage on an English ship. They were looking for religious freedom. A storm delayed their departure, and their plan was betrayed. All those planning to leave were put in prison. In the spring of 1691 these prisoners were sentenced at an auto-de-fe, where 37 were burned at the stake.

2 Adar in History

Hundreds of Jews, including some students of the local Chabad Yeshivah, were among the thousands of victims to perish in a devastating earthquake that struck Agadir, Morocco on the 2nd of Adar in 1960.

R. Itz’hak taught, “Four things avert the evil decree passed (by God) on man: charity, prayer, change of name, and improvement.

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


7 March in History

In 1923,Birthdate of businessman Laurence Tisch, CEO of CBS from 1986 through 1995. Tisch passed away in 2003.

1 Adar in History

The 9th plague to strike the Egyptians for their refusal to release the Children of Israel from slavery — a thick darkness that blanketed the land so that “no man saw his fellow, and no man could move from his place” (Exodus 10:23) — commenced on the 1st of Adar, six weeks before the Exodus in 1313 BCE.

Three circumstances cause a man to remember his sins, for fear that his misdeeds might cause a tragedy: when he passes by an insecure wall, when he thinks deeply of how his prayer has been answered, and when he invokes divine judgment on his neighbor.

As R. Abhin says: Whoso calls down divine judgment on his neighbor is punished first. We find in the case of Sarah, who said [Gen. xvi. 5] to Abraham: “I suffer wrong through you, may the Lord judge between me and you.” And shortly after we read (that she died): “And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her” [Gen. xxiii. 2]

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


6 March in History

In 1836, the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, fell to Mexican forces after a 13-day siege. Antony Wolfe, a young Englishman, was reportedly the only Jew who fought and died at the Alamo.

30 Adar in History

Today is the first of the two Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) days for the month of “Adar II” (when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month’s Rosh Chodesh).

Today marks the passing of Rav Yitzchak Isaac of Zhidachov (1804-1872), a descendent of the Tosfos Yomtov and the nephew and successor of Rav Zvi Hirsch of Zhidachov. One of his four sons became the first Rebbe of Komarna dynasty.

The men did not keep an accounting of the money that was collected to give to the construction groups (who were repairing the Temple), since they were acting with faith.

Kings II 12:16


4 March in History

Today in 1849, Austrian Jews were granted equal civil and political rights under the new constitution. The imperial government would renege on its promise and full rights would not be finally granted until 1867.

28 Adar in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Shmuel Halevi Klein (Kellin) of Boskowitz, author of Machtzis Hashekel, a super-commentary on the Magen Avraham on the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim (1738-1827).

5 March in History

In 1929, John D. Rockefeller Jr. spent the day viewing ancient and historic sites in Jerusalem, including the Mosque of Omar and the Holy Sepulcher.

29 Adar in History

When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, each Jew contributed an annual half-shekel to the Temple. The 1st of Adar marked the beginning of the collection of the shekalim. In commemoration, the Torah reading of the Shabbat that falls on or before Adar 1 is supplemented with the verses (Exodus 30:11-16) that relate G-d’s commandment to Moses regarding the first giving of the half-shekel.

“Parshat Shekalim” is the first of four special readings added during or immediately before the month of Adar (the other three being “Zachor”, “Parah” and “Hachodesh”)

A man is judged only according to his deeds at the time of sentence, as it is written [Gen. xxi. 17]: “God heard the voice of the lad, as he was then.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


3 March in History

In 1332, Levi ben Gershon, better known by his Latinised name as Gersonides or the abbreviation of first letters as RaLBaG Levi observed a solar eclipse today.

27 Adar in History

Tzedkiah, last king of Yehuda, died in captivity, in Bavel (561 BCE).

Without recognition of faith, there is no room to place any of the possessions of life and human society. With a greater recognition of the need for these acquisitions for all paths of life, faith is supported.

Rav Avraham Yitschak HaKohen Kook


2 March in History

In 1382, the Mailotin Riots began in Paris. These riots were similar to the tax riots held two years previously. Both times the Jews were considered accomplices in over-oppressive taxes. Sixteen Jews fell victim to this outbreak violence.

26 Adar in History

In 1658, fifteen South American Jewish families of Sephardic lineage arrived in the United States and settled in Newport, Rhode Island. The families established a Jewish congregation, and for many years prayed weekly in private homes. When the need arose for a Jewish cemetery, the community purchased a parcel of land on Wednesday, February 28, 1677.

This was the very first piece of land in the colonies which was owned by a Jewish congregation. In this cemetery are buried many of the early members of this congregation, and it is still maintained by the Jewish community today.

R. Abbahu said, “Why is the shofar made a ram’s horn?”

The Holy One, blessed be He, said, “Sound before Me on a cornet made of a ram’s horn, that I may remember, for your sake, the offering of Isaac, the son of Abraham [Gen. xxii. 13], and I will consider even you as worthy, as if you had shown an equal readiness to sacrifice yourselves to Me.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


1 March in History

In 1655, the Magistrate of New Amsterdam wrote a ruling making an attempt to expel the Jews. It read, in part, “Resolved that the Jews, who came last year from the West Indies and now from the Fatherland, must prepare to depart forthwith.”

25 Adar in History

Rav Gershon Kitover, brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov (1696-1761). His father, Efrayim, was a Rav and Av Beis Din in one of the four batei din in Brody, Poland. In 1747, he moved to Eretz Yisrael (becoming the first of the talmidim of the Besht to do so), living first in Chevron and then in Yerushalayaim.

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March 2011