You are currently browsing the daily archive for March 17, 2011.

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

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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(Achashveirosh never rescinded that decree; but after the hanging of Haman on Nissan 16 of the previous year, and Queen Esther’s pleading on behalf of her people, he agreed to issue a second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

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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.

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