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Haftara

Rahav said to the spies that Joshua sent, “I know that God has given you this land. Your awe has fallen on us: the inhabitants of this land melt before you. We heard how God dried the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what you did to the two Emorite Kings on the other side of the Jordan, Sichon and Og; you annihilated them. We heard, our hearts melted, we have no spirit to stand up to you, since Hashem is the Lord in the heavens above and on the earth below.

Joshuah 2:9-11

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4 June in History

In 1912, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a minimum wage law. Boston attorney Louis Brandeis, the future Supreme Court Justice, was an ardent advocate for minimum wage laws.

5 June in History

Today in 1967, the Six Day War began after Egypt violated agreements that ended the Suez Crisis of 1956 and 1957. On the morning of June 5, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Egyptian Air Force while much of it was still on the ground. Almost the entire Israeli Air Force went on this mission, leaving only 12 planes behind in case of attack from another country.

22 Sivan in History

According to some authorities, it was today in 1312 BCE Miriam, the elder sister of Moses and Aaron, was afflicted with tzaraat (leprosy) after speaking negatively of Moses, and was quarantined outside of the camp for seven days–as related in Numbers 12.

23 Sivan in History

After King Solomon’s passing in 797 BCE, Jeroboam ben Nebat, a member of the tribe of Ephraim, incited ten of the twelve tribes of Israel to rebel against Solomon’s son and heir, Rehoboam. The Holy Land split into two kingdoms: the “Kingdom of Israel” in the north, with Jeroboam as its king and the city of Samaria as its capital; and the southern “Kingdom of Judah” with its capital Jerusalem, where Rehoboam ruled over the two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) that remained loyal to the royal house of David.

The spiritual center of the land, however, remained Jerusalem, where the Holy Temple built by Solomon stood, and where every Jew was obligated to make a thrice-yearly pilgrimage for the festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

Seeing this as a threat to his sovereignty, Jeroboam set up, on Sivan 23 of that year, roadblocks to prevent the people’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem, introducing instead the worship of two idols, in the form of gold calves, which he enshrined on the northern and southern boundaries of his realm.

The barricades remained in place for 223 years, until Hosea ben Elah, the last king of the Northern Kingdom, had them removed on the 15th of Av of 574 BCE. By then, the ten tribes residing there were already being expelled from the land in a series of invasions by various Assyrian and Babylonian kings. The last of these occurred in 556 BCE, when Shalmanessar of Assyria completely conquered the Kingdom of Israel, destroyed its capital, exiled the last of the Israelites residing there, and resettled the land with foreign peoples from Kutha and Babylon.

These peoples — later known as the “Samarians” — assumed a form of Judaism as their religion, but were never accepted as such by the Jewish people; they subsequently built their own temple on Mount Gerizzim and became bitter enemies of the Jews. The “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel” were never heard from again, and await the coming of the Messiah to be reunited with the Jewish people.

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