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In three things is the doing acts of kindness greater than charity: Charity is only with money, but acts of kindness is either with one’s money or with one’s person; charity is only to the poor, but acts of kindness is to poor and rich; charity is only for the living, but acts of kindness are both for the living and the dead.

Sukkah Chapter 4

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30 November in History

In 1924, today is the birthdate of songwriter and humorist Allan Sherman author of the famous camp song that began, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”

23 Kislev in History

As the “Black Death” plague decimated Europe, Christians accused the Jews of causing the plague by poisoning the wells in an effort to wipe out the Gentile population.

On the 23rd of Kislev 5109 (Nov. 15, 1348), Rudolph of Oron, bailiff of Lausanne, sent a letter to the mayor of Strasburg informing him that certain Jews of Lausanne had “confessed” under torture that they together with their coreligionists had poisoned all the wells in the Rhine valley. This resulted in the masses persecuting and killing tens of thousands of Jews throughout Europe.

 

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The doing of charity is greater than all the sacrifices; as it is written [Prov. xxi. 3]: “To exercise righteousness and justice is more acceptable to God than sacrifice.”

Sukkah Chapter 4

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25 November in History

In 1864, British statesman Benjamin Disraeli declared in a speech: ‘Man is a being born to believe, and if no church comes forward with all the title deeds of truth, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.’ Disraeli had been baptized at his father’s insistence. Disraeli was proud of his Jewish heritage and often vilified for it by his political enemies.

18 Kislev in History
Today marks the passing of Rabbi Abraham Maimuni HaNagid (also called “Rabbi Avraham ben HaRambam”) was the only son of Maimonidies (the famed Talmudist, codifier of Jewish Law, philosopher, physician and statesmen, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, 1135-1204). Born in 1185, Rabbi Abraham succeeded his father as the leader of the Jewish community in Fostat (old Cairo), Egypt, at the tender age of 19. He wrote many responsa and commentaries explaining and defending his father’s writings and Halachic rulings. Rabbi Abraham passed away on the 18th of Kislev of the year 4998 from creation (1237).

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