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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.

A sage asked, the Mishna teaches: It is prohibited to clap hands, keep beat on your hips, and to dance on a festival. Yet in our time we see people do so, and we do not say to them anything. Why do we remain silent?

He answered: And according to your theory, come and see the women who take their cans and go and stand at the gates of the entry, which is also prohibited, and we say nothing to them (Would you also blame us for this?).

This is not so (because it is a rule). Let Israel do things unintentionally rather than intentionally (i.e., they were sure that if it was told to them, they would not listen, and to preserve them from conscious transgression, they keep silence).

There is no difference in such a case between a biblical and a rabbinical prohibition. Because the adding from the eve of the Day of Atonement to the Day of Atonement (about half an hour) is biblical, nevertheless we see women eating and drinking till dark, and we say nothing.

Beitzah Chapter 4


14 February in History

Today in 1961, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, accused the government of Morocco of bias against Jews and appealed to the Human Rights Commission of the United States to urge the Moroccan Government to stop what it termed “repressive action” including police brutality.

10 Adar in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Alexander Moshe Lapidus (1819-1906). A talmid of Rav Yisrael Salanter, he authored Divrei Emes.

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November 2020