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Comfort, comfort My people,
Says God.

Speak to the heart of Jerusalem,
Call out to her!
Her service is full,
Her sin is forgiven:
She has taken from God’s hand,
A double portion for all her sins.

A voice is calling in the desert:
Clear out the way for God!
Level the wilderness!
A highway for our God.

Every valley will be raised,
Every mountain and hill be made low,
That which is bent, be made straight,
The ridges be a plain.

The honor of God will be revealed,
Together, all flesh will see it.

The mouth of God has spoken.

Isaiah 40:1-4


23 July in History

Today in 1501 a violent earth quake hit the land of Israel. The town of Akko was totally destroyed.

24 July in History

In 1918, on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, Dr. Chaim Weizmann laid the cornerstone for Hebrew University. It would be several more years before construction began and the university would actually become a reality.

12 Av in History

By order of King James I of Aragon (Spain), Nachmanides (Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, 1194-1270) was compelled to participate in a public debate, held in the king’s presence, against the Jewish convert to Christianity, Pablo Christiani. His brilliant defense of Judaism and refutations of Christianity’s claims served as the basis of many such future disputations through the generations.

Because his victory was an insult to the king’s religion, Nachmanides was forced to flee Spain. He came to Jerusalem, where he found just a handful of Jewish families living in abject poverty, and revived the Jewish community there. The synagogue he built in the Old City is in use today, and is perhaps the oldest standing synagogue in the world.

Now called the Hurva Synagogue, it was recently rebuild after the Arabs destroyed it when the Jews were forced out of the Old City in 1948. Click here to see a picture.

13 Av in History

Av 13 is the day of the passing, at age 101, of the famed philanthropist and Jewish advocate, Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885).

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May 2020