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“To the snake He said, ‘Dust will be your food.'” (Gen. 3).

Rav Ami and Rav Assi both commented on this. One said the explanation of this curse is that even if the snake were to eat any of the delicacies of the world, those foods would taste like dust.

The other explains the punishment was even if the snake were to eat any of the delicacies of the world, the snake would only be satiated when he ate dirt.

Yoma Chapter 8

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2 August in History

The United States conducts its first census in 1790. Out of a population of four million people, there are approximately 2,000 Jews. Today the Jewish population is estimated at 5,128,000, or about 1.7% of the total population as of 2007.

Today is the birthdate of movie mogul Jack Warner (1892). Born in Canada, Warner and his four brothers founded Warner Brothers, which became a giant in the film industry. Among other claims to fame Warner Brothers produced “The Jazz Singer,” the first “talking” motion picture. Some of his stars included Bette Davis, James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. Warner was known fir his frugality and was not necessarily that well liked. At one point his son and namesake said of his dad, “At times he gloried in being a no-good sonofabitch. If his brothers hadn’t hired him, he’d have been out of work.

In 1903, the first branch of Bank Leumi’s opened in Turkish Jaffa.

22 Av In History

Today marks the passing of Rav Mordechai ben Hillel, the “Mordechai” (~1230-1298). A descendent of the Ravyah, he was a principle disciple of the Maharam miRottenberg, and a close friend of the Rosh, who is considered one of the main pillars of Halacha, legal decision, to this day. The Mordechai cites views of French and German authorities and brings the piskei halacha (legal decisions) of the Tosefot (main European commentators on the Talmud) without the discussion, making their conclusions more easily understood.

He, his wife, and their five children were all burned at the stake during the Rindfleisch pogroms, when over 100,000 Jews in Bavaria and Austria were murdered, and well over 100 communities disappeared.

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