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Shout out barren one,
You without child;
Shout, sing, chant,
One who has not labored,
For your children born of your desolation,
Are greater than the children of your marriage,
Says God.


For a tiny moment I left you,
With enormous compassion I will draw you in.


As the waters of Noah,
Which I have promised will not again pass over the land,
So I have sworn,
To never be furious with you; to never rebuke you.

The mountains may disappear,
The hills may move,
My kindness to you will never disappear,
My covenant of peace will never move,
Says God, who loves you.

Isaiah 54:1, 7, 9-10


20 August in History

In 1856, in the “English Celebrities” a column published today, the author provides a description of Benjamin Disraeli which includes the following, “Nor is his faithfulness to his friendships less remarkable than his devoted attention to his old and silly wife…as Disraeli says ‘I owe her everything. But some men forget these things. Not so Disraeli…at no party is he to be found without fat, middle-age, gray-haired lady, hanging on his arm. But this domestic love is an essentially Jewish trait.”

In 1893, Sh’chita (ritual slaughter) was banned in Switzerland. (The ban is still in place and the Jewish community gets its meat from several different countries.)

10 Elul in History

On the 10th of Elul of the year 1656 from creation (2105 BCE), as the Great Flood neared its end, Noah opened the window of the Ark and dispatched a raven to determine if the flood waters had begun to recede (Genesis 8:1; Rashi)

21 August in History

In 1906, today was the birthdate of Fritz Frelang. Born in Kansas City, Frelang was one of the great cartoon animators. He worked for Warner Brothers for over thirty years. His work includes the Merry Melody series, The Pink Panther, Tweety Bird and Yosemite Sam. He passed away in 1996.

In 1923, today is the birthdate of Shimon Peres, Israeli political leader.

11 Elul in History

Today is the fifth of the the seven weeks of consolation that bridge the Shabbat after the Ninth of Av with the Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. A passage of consolation from the book of Isaiah is read as the Haftara.

n 1522, Rabbi Yosef Caro started writing the Beit Yosef, his famous commentary on the Arba Turim, Yaakov Ben Asher’s comprehensive Halachic code. He started writing this commentary in Adrianople, Turkey, and continued for the next twenty years, during which time he relocated to Safed, Israel. He completed the monumental work on the 11th of Elul. It took another ten years for the writings to be published.

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May 2020