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Note: The Jewish Almanac will now start to update to accommodate the communities on the east side of the Atlantic.  For those of us in the west side, you may need to view the second post down.  I think this is a small inconvenience to better serve our tight-knit (1095 downloads over two months) world-wide (40 countries) community.

Thanks to those of you who have written in, giving me this advice.

Chodesh Tov,

Jeff

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Aggadah

It happened to one high-priest going out from the Temple, and the whole community was accompanying him, that the community perceived Shemaia and Abtalian (who were great scholars). The people then left the high-priest, and accompanied Shemaia and Abtalian.

Later, Shemaia and Abtalian came to take leave of the high-priest. He said to them, “May the children of the Gentiles (they were proselytes’ descendants) go in peace.”

They replied to him, “The children of the Gentiles may go in peace, because they do what Aaron the high-priest did; but the children of Aaron may not have peace, who do not what Aaron did (love not peace).”

Yoma Chapter 7

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12 July in History

It was on this day in 1191 that the armies of the Third Crusade (1189-92), led by England’s King Richard (‘The Lionhearted’), captured the Syrian seaport of Acre. The Third Crusade would end in failure for the Christian forces. King Richard would be taken prisoner by the Austrians on his way home. The Jews of England would be called upon to help pay the ransom of their monarch, who had left the kingdom under the control of his brother Prince John.

1 Av in History

Aaron the first High Priest, brother of Moses and Miriam, passed away at age 123 on the 1st of Av of the year 2487 from creation (1274 BCE). This is the only yahrzeit explicitly mentioned in the Torah (Numbers 33:38).

Today is the passing of Rav Shlomo Halberstam (1908-2000), son of Rav Ben Zion, grandson of Rav Shlomo, founder of the Bobov dynasty. At the outbreak of World War II, he and his father escaped to Lemberg. On the fourth of Av 1942 his father was killed, and Rav Shlomo escaped to the Bochnia Ghetto. In Bochnia, the Rav lost his Rebbetzin and two children. He managed to escape with his only surviving child, Naftali, to Budapest, and then to Bucharest. During the war, Halberstam dressed up as a nun to rescue other Jews, hiding them in the false bottom of a coal truck. Rav Shlomo is believed to have been the last remaining Chassidic rabbi to have survived the Holocaust.

Born in the Galicia region of central Europe, Rav Halberstam arrived in the United States in 1946, alone and indigent after his group was largely obliterated by the Nazis. Rav Halberstam is widely credited with rebuilding the Bobover community in the United States after the war.

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