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The convert Beluria (a woman) asked R. Gamaliel, “In one place in the Torah it says that God does not forgive [Deut. 17]: “God who does not raise up a persons countenance” yet in another, it states that he does [Numb. vi. 26]: “May God lift up his countenance.”

R. Jose, the Kohen, replied, “I will tell you a parable. To what may this be compared? To one who lent money to his neighbor, and set a time for its repayment before the king, and (the borrower) swore by the king’s life (to repay it on time). The time arrived, and he did not pay, and he came to appease the king. The king said to him, ‘I can forgive you only your offence against me, but I cannot forgive you your offence against your neighbor; go and ask him to forgive you.'”

So also here; in the one place it means sins committed by a man against Himself (God), but in the other it means sins committed by one man against another.

Rosh Hashanah Chapter 1

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3 April in History

Today in 1933, Joseph Stalin became the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Stalin’s anti-Semitism would prove to be stronger than his sense of brotherhood for his fellow Socialist brethren. From his attacks on Trotsky to the Doctors’ Plot that came at the end of his life, Stalin displayed an attitude towards the Jewish people that would have made the Czars proud.

28 Adar in History

In Talmudic times, Adar 28 used to be celebrated to commemorate the rescinding of a Roman decree against ritual circumcision, Torah study and keeping the Shabbat. The decree was revoked through the efforts of Rabbi Yehudah ben Shamua and his fellow rabbis. (Megillat Taanit, Rosh Hashanah 19a)

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