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While in the desert, the Jews asked for meat rudely, it was therefore granted inappropriately (at dusk, when it would be difficult to prepare it for dinner).

And yet, Abaye taught that a person should only eat their meals at day time (so why did the Jews in the desert eat their dinners at night). The intent is that they should eat their meals as if it is day time (by torch light).

Until Moshe, the Jews would eat like chickens, grazing on their food through out the day. From Moshe and onward, the Jews began having meals in the morning and evening, since that is when the Manna fell.

Yoma Chapter 8


8 August in History

In 117 C.E., Hadrian named Emperor of the Roman Empire. He is remembered as the man who accepted the limits of the Roman empire, as can be seen by the construction of Hadrian’s Wall in what is today Great Britain. It was designed to keep the barbarians out of the empire and was viewed as the greatest engineering feat of the Roman legions. Hadrian was also seen as a man of culture who a devotee of Greek learning.

Jews remember him as the man who brought on Bar Kochba’s Rebellion. At the end of this extended but ultimately failed clash of arms. Hadrian made war on Judaism itself. He sought to build a temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount. He hunted down the Jewish sages and created the list of martyrs some of whom we invoke by name each year on the High Holidays. In Jewish writings he is referred to as “the Wicked or the Evil One.”

28 Av in History

Today is the yahrzeit of Rav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv, (1817-1893). He was born in Mir, the son-in-law of Rav Isaac, son of Rav Chaim of Volozhin (1749-1821) he married the granddaughter of Rav Chaim Volozhiner when he was 14 years old.

In 1849, upon the petira of Rav Yitzchak, the father-in-law of the Nertziv, Rav Yitzchak was succeeded by his older son-in-law, Rav Eliezer Yitzchak. However, he died five years later, and the Netziv was appointed Rosh Yeshiva, a position he held for 40 years. Volozhin was forcibly closed by the Russians in 1893.

He wrote Haamek Davar, a commentary on the Chumash (Bible), Haamek She’elah on the She’eltos of Rav Achai Gaon, and Meshiv Davar, a collection of his responsa. Among his children were Rabbi Chaim Berlin and Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan (born to two different mothers).

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May 2020