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Zechariah 2:14-17

Call out and rejoice,
Daughter of Zion,
Behold, I am coming and will dwell among you,
Says God.

On that day,
Many nations will attach themselves to God,
and will be a nation, to Me.
I will dwell among you
Then you will know that God, master of Legions,
Sent me to you.

God will take Judah, His portion,
On Holy ground.
He will again choose, Jerusalem.

Be silent all flesh
Before God.
He is roused from His
Holy habitation.

Zechariah 2:14-17
This week’s Haftara


28 May in History

In 1818, former president Thomas Jefferson set forth in a letter to a Jewish journalist his opinion of religious intolerance: ‘Your sect by its sufferings has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal point of religious insolence, inherent in every sect, disclaimed by all while feeble and practiced by all when in power. Our laws have applied the only antidote to this vice, protecting our religions, as they do our civil rights, by putting all on equal footing. But more remains to be done.

29 May in History

In 1686, a law was enacted that allowed the Jews of New Amsterdam to openly practice their religion.

15 Sivan in History

Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, was born in Charan on the 15th of Sivan, of the year 2196 from creation (1565 BCE). He passed away on the same date 119 years later, in Egypt.

Judah took the leadership role both in selling Joseph into slavery and in the brothers’ later attempts to find him and free him, and to protect Benjamin. On his deathbed, Jacob conferred the leadership of Israel upon Judah, proclaiming: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the legislator from between his feet, until Shiloh (the Messiah) comes…” The royal house of David, as well as many of the great sages and leaders of Israel throughout the generations of Jewish history, trace their lineage to Judah.

Judah had five sons: Er and Onan, who died without children; Shelah; and his twins from Tamar, Peretz and Zerach. Their descendants formed the Tribe of Judah, the most populous and prestigious of the twelve tribes of Israel.

After the death of King Solomon in 797 BCE, the people of Israel split into two kingdoms: ten tribes formed the Kingdom of Israel in the north, with Shomron (Samaria) as the capital; only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to Solomon’s son, Rechavam, and formed the Kingdom of Judea in the south, in the areas surrounding the capitol Jerusalem. Eventually, the Northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyria and the ten tribes living there were exiled and lost to the Jewish people; the inhabitants of Judea were also exiled (to Babylonia) but subsequently returned to the Holy Land and rebuilt Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.

Over time, the terms “Judean” and “Jew”–which originally referred to a member of the tribe of Judah–became synonymous with “Israelite” and was used to refer to the descendants of all of Jacob’s twelve sons–i.e., the Jewish people.

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November 2020