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Some also include change of location as way that an evil decree is improved, as it is written [Gen. xii. 1 and 2]: “God said to Abraham, go for yourself from your land” (and afterwards), “I will make you into a great nation.”

Rosh Hashana Chapter 1


15 March in History

In 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate. The Jews supported Caesar in his fight for power against Crassus and Pompey. Pompey had seized Jerusalem, violated the Holy of Holies and shipped thousands of Judeans off to the slave markets. Eight years later, Crassus came to Jerusalem and stole the Temple Treasury. As a reward for Jewish support, Caesar returned the port of Jaffa to Judean control. He instituted a more humane tax rate that took into account the Sabbatical Year. He allowed the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt and he allowed Jewish communities in the Italian peninsula, including Rome itself, to “organize and thrive.”

9 Adar in History

The schools of Shammai and Hillel for the very first time disagreed regarding a case of Jewish law. This occurred around the turn of the 1st century. In the ensuing generations, the schools argued regarding many different laws, until the law was established according to the teachings of the “House of Hillel” — with the exception of a few instances. According to tradition, following the arrival of the the Messiah the law will follow the rulings of the House of Shammai.

All throughout, the members of the two schools maintained friendly relations with each other.

R. Ashi said, “My wife is the daughter of Rami bar Hama, who was very particular in his deeds, and if she had not seen it done in the house of her father, she would not do it.”

Beitzah Chapter 3


13 February in History

In 1349, during the Black Plague, the newly chosen Town Council of Strasbourg, gave orders to arrest all the Jews in the city so that they could be put to death.

9 Adar in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Mordechai Meisel, the parnes of Prague, a great Jewish philanthropist who saved many Jewish lives in pogroms (1601).

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November 2020