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Rabbi Assi said, “Come and see, how the traits of the Holy One Blessed is He are not like the traits of humanity.

When a human curses another, he tried to punish him thoroughly.

But God, He punished the snake, and if the snake should go up on a roof, or down on the ground, his food is with him.

He punished Cannan (with being the progenitor of slaves) and the slave gets to eat whatever the master is eating.

He punished women, and all run after her.

He punished the land, and all are sustained from her.

Yoma Chapter 8


3 August in History

It was on this day in 1492 that Columbus set sail for the New World. There is an entry in Columbus’ diary noting the expulsion of Jews from Spain right before he set sail. He was accompanied by Luis de Torres who is considered to be the first Jew to arrive in the “New World.”

23 Av in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon, author of Kehillas Yaakov (1899-1985). His father, Reb Chaim Peretz, was a shochet, ritual slaughter, in Horensteipel. When Ren Chaim Peretz was 60 years old, his wife died, leaving him with three daughters. He asked his rebbe, Rav Mordechai Dov, the son-in-law of Rav Chaim Sanzer, whether he should remarry. On the latter’s recommendation, he married a young woman, and he fathered three sons.

The oldest was Rav Yaakov Yisrael. At the age of 11, Rav Yaakov Yisrael was recruited to learn with Rav Yosef Yosel Hurvitz at Novardock. At 19, he was sent by the Alter of Novardock to head a yeshiva at Rogatshov. After a stint in the Russian army, he was appointed rosh yeshiva of Novardock at Pinsk. The Chazon Ish saught him as a husband for his sister. He authored many works, most notably Kehillas Yaakov. His son, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, is a leading Torah authority in Yisrael.

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May 2020