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.