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Say to them,
“So says God, the Master:
‘Behold, I will take the Children of Israel from among the nations,
Where they have gone to,
I will gather them from around
I will bring them to their land.

‘I will make them one nation in the land,
In the mountains of Israel.
One King will be for all of them a ruler:
They will no longer be two nations,
They will no longer be divided into two kingships.'”

Ezekiel 37:21-22

~~~

25 March in History

In 1880, in an article explaining the origins of Easter Eggs, the New York Times reports that “the old Jews introduced eggs at the feast of Passover…”

19 Adar in History

Following the War of Independance, Israel needed to secure its borders against the hostile Arab nations which surrounded it. Ein Gedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea, was secured on Sunday, March 20, 1949.

26 March in History

In 1931, today was the birthdate of Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame. The hand gesture that went with the Vulcan credo – Live long and prosper is the same gesture as that made by the Priests (Kohanim) when giving his benediction during services.

20 Adar in History

It was on this day that Choni the Circle Maker prayed for rain. The Talmud relates the following story:

“One year, most of Adar went by and it didn’t rain. They sent for Choni the Circle Maker. He prayed and the rains didn’t come. He drew a circle, stood in it and said: ‘Master of The World! Your children have turned to me; I swear in Your great name that I won’t move from here until You have pity on Your children.’ The rains came down.” (Talmud, Taanit 23a)

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Shmuel said, “Does God desire sacrifices and offerings as much as listening to the voice of God? Listening is better then a fine offering. Attending is better than the fats of rams.”

Samuel I 15:22

~~~
18 March in History

In 1906, today was the birth of Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo officer who contributed so much to the Final Solution. Eichmann is the only person to ever be executed by the state of Israel.

12 Adar in History

After 334 years, the 2nd Holy Temple in Jerusalem was in disrepair. In the year 19 BCE, King Herod I floated the idea of rebuilding and renovating the Temple. Though many Jews were wary of Herod’s motives, the renovation was completed eight years later. The new structure was magnificent, causing the Talmud to state: “He who has not seen Herod’s edifice has not seen a magnificent edifice!”

19 March in History

In 1940, Vladimir Jabotinsky addressed a crowd of more than 5,000 supporters in New York demanding the “restoration of a Jewish state” in the area under British Mandate.

13 Adar in History

On the 13th of Adar of the year 3405 from creation (356 BCE), battles were fought throughout the Persian Empire between the Jews and those seeking to kill them in accordance with the decree issued by King Achashveirosh 11 months earlier.

(Achashveirosh never rescinded that decree; but after the hanging of Haman on Nissan 16 of the previous year, and Queen Esther’s pleading on behalf of her people, he agreed to issue a second decree authorizing the Jews to defend themselves against those seeking to kill them.)

75,000 enemies were killed on that day, and 500 in the capital, Shushan, including Haman’s ten sons (Parshandata, Dalfon, Aspata, Porata, Adalia, Aridata, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizata), whose bodies were subsequently hanged. The Jews did not take any of the possessions of the slain as booty, though authorized to do so by the king’s decree. (The Book of Esther, chapter 9).

It is I, I who erase your sins for My sake;
I will not remember your transgressions.

Isaiah 43:25

~~~

11 March in History

In 1853, today the the Jewish Disabilities Bill came up in the House of Commons for a second reading. Mr. Ernal Osborne argued “that religious liberty was violated in the exclusion of Jews from Parliament and thought the question not one of Jewish disabilities, but of the right of Christians to be represented by whom they pleased.” Several Members of Parliament “totally opposed the bill on Christian grounds.”

5 Adar in History

Moses passed away on the 7th of Adar 1273 BCE. Following God’s instruction that Joshua should succeed him and lead the Jewish nation into the Land of Israel, Moses transferred leadership duties to Joshua on the day before he passed away. The fifth day of Adar was the last day of Moses’ leadership.

12 March in History

In 1496, the Jews were expelled from Syria.

6 Adar in History

Moses completed the book of Deuteronomy, concluding his review of the Torah which he began several weeks earlier, on the 1st of Shevat. He then wrote down the completed Five Books of Moses, word for word, as dictated to him by God.

This scroll of the Torah was put into the Holy Ark, next to the Tablets of Testimony.

King Solomon sent for Hiram from Tzur. He was the son of a widow, from the tribe of Naftali. His father was a smith of bronze. God had filled him with wisdom, knowledge, and perception to work with metals. He came to King Solomon, and built all of the craft (for the temple).

Kings I 7 13:14

~~~

25 February in History

Today in 1862, Judah P. Benjamin began serving as Attorney General in the cabinet of Jefferson Davis.

21 Adar in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Shlomo Yosef Zevin, editor of the Talmudical Encyclopedia (1976).

26 February in History

Today in 11 BCE, according to some sources, the day on which Herod dedicates the renovated Holy Temple in Jerusalem. According to Heinrich Graetz, the building project began in 20 BCE, the 18th year of Herod’s reign. A year and half later, (18 BCE) the inner part of the Temple was finished. It took another eight years to build the outer walls, courts and galleries. The dedicatory celebration took place on “the very anniversary of the day when twenty years previously, Herod, with blood stained hands, had made himself master of Jerusalem.” Herod reportedly built this modernized version of the Second Temple because he loved to build things and because he was trying to show his Roman masters that he was the beloved ruler of his people.

22 Adar in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein (1829-1908). Born in Bobroysk, author of the Aruch Hashulchan, Rav of Novardok for 34 years, father of Rav Baruch HaLevy Epstein (author of Torah Temima) and grandfather of Rav Meir Bar-Ilan, with whom he learned in Novardok.

Eliyahu came close to the people and said,
“For how long will you be standing on two sides of the fence? If God is the Almighty, follow after Him. And if its Baal, go after him.”

The nation did not answer him.

Kings I 18:21

~~~

18 February in History

In 1955, David Ben Gurion agrees to come out of retirement and serve as Defense Minister. Four months later he will also agree to serve as Prime Minister.

14 Adar in History

According to the opinions that Moses was born on the 7th of Adar I, today was the 8th day of his life and the day on which he was circumcised in accordance with the Divine command to Abraham.

19 February in History

In 2004, Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a “lifetime of service to humanity.”

15 Adar in History

In regular years, the 15th of Adar is Shushan Purim, the festival that celebrates — in Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities — the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman’s evil decree in the year 3405 from creation (356 BCE). In a leap year — which has two Adars — Shushan Purim is observed in Adar II, and the 15th of Adar I is designated as Shushan Purim Kattan, the “Minor Shushan Purim.”

There are no special observances associated with Shushan Purim Kattan, other than the omission of Tachnun (“supplications”) from the daily prayers and a prohibition against fasting or holding eulogies on this day. The Code of Jewish Law cites an opinion that one should increase in festivity and joy, but rules that there is no obligation to do so; “Nevertheless,a person should increase somewhat in festivity… for ‘One who is of good heart is festive always’ “

This house which you have build to me, if you walk in my laws and perform my judgements, and guard all my commands to walk in them, I will uphold my word with you, which I spoke to David your father.

I will dwell among my people Israel, and I will never abandon my people Israel.

Kings 1 6:12-13

~~~

4 February in History

In 1194, Richard The Lion Hearted bought his freedom by paying his ransom to Leopold, an Austrian Duke. In collecting the ransom, the Jews were forced to pay 5,000 marks. They were taxed at three times the rate as that paid by their Christian countrymen.

30 Shevat in History

The 30th of Shevat is celebrated by the descendents of Rabbi Yomtov Lipman Heller (1579-1654) as a day of thanksgiving, for his liberation and restoration after his imprisonment in Vienna in 1629.

Rabbi Yomtov Lipman was one of the important rabbinical figures of the early 17th century. Known as the “Tosfos Yomtov” after his commentary on the Mishnah by that name, he also authored important commentaries on the Rosh and other rabbinical works. A disciple of the famed Maharal of Prague, Rabbi Yomtov Lipman was appointed, at the tender age of 18, to serve as a dayan (rabbinical judge) in in that city. He subsequently filled a number of prestigious rabbinical positions, including rabbi of Nikolsburg and of Vienna. In 1627 he was recalled to Prague to serve as the city’s chief rabbi.

That position earned him powerful enemies when he refused to follow the dictates of Prague’s rich and influential citizens and strove to relieve the burden imposed on the poor by the suffocating “crown taxes” imposed on the Jews. His enemies informed on him to the government, falsely accusing him of treason. In 1629, Rabbi Yomtov Lipman was arrested, tried and sentenced to death. The Jewish communities of Bohemia succeeded in having the sentence commuted and reduced to a heavy fine, and raised the funds for the payment of the first installment that secured his release. However, his enemies obtained an imperial decision that he could not officiate as rabbi in any town of the empire, leaving him homeless and destitute. It took many years for him to pay off the balance of the fine and be restored to his former position. It was only in the winter of 1644, when he settled in Krakow after being appointed chief rabbi of the city, that he felt that that he could celebrate his release and restoration.

Shevat 30th (the 1st day of Rosh Chodesh Adar)–the day that Rabbi Yomtov Lipman assumed the rabbinate of Krakow–was celebrated by him and his family as a day of thanksgiving to God. Rabbi Yomtov Lipman asked that future generations continue to mark the date, and the custom is upheld by his descendants to this day.

5 February in History

In 1915, birthdate of Robert Hofstadter, American atomic physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in 1961.

1 Adar I in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Avraham Ibn Ezra (1089-1164). He was born in Tudela during the height of Spain’s Golden Age. There, he established a close friendship with Rav Yehuda Halevi. Three of his uncles were ministers in the royal palace. He moved to Toledo, during the benevolent rule of King Alfonso VI. After the Kinf died, however, the anti-semitic masses began to harass the Jews, so he headed south to Muslim Spain – to Granada, Cordova, and Lucena. In 1148, the barbaric Almohades overran Morocco and continued into Spain. He was forced to flee to Rome, Provence, and Rhodes (where he befriended Rabbeinu Tam and other grandsons of Rashi, as well as the Rosh).

He traveled to Egypt and learned with the Rambam. He wrote a commentary on the Torah and Navi, based in large part on Hebrew grammar. He also wrote dozens of books on astronomy, astrology, and mathematics.

So says God,

“Were it not for my covenant,
Day and night,
The laws of heaven,
I would not not have placed them.”

Jeremiah 33:28

~~~

28 January in History

In 814, Charlemagne passed away. The grandson of Charles Martel was one of the greatest European rulers during the Dark Ages. For the most part, he ignored canon law and the wishes of the Pope and treated the Jews of his realm rather decently.

23 Shevat in History

Armies of the Tribes of Israel converged upon the tribe of Benjamin in the aftermath of the “Concubine at Givah” incident, in a war which nearly brought about the extinction of the Benjaminites.

29 January in History

In 1856, Queen Victoria institutes the Victoria Cross. Frank de Pass was the first Jew to be awarded Britain’s highest award for valor. He earned it for action on the Western Front on November 24, 1917. The award was made posthumously since he was killed the next day.

24 Shevat in History

“On the 24th day of the 11th month, which is the month of Shevat, in the second year of the reign of Darius, the word of G-d came to Zachariah the son of Berechiah the son of Ido the prophet, saying:
‘…I will return to Jerusalem in mercy, my house will be built within her…and the Lord shall yet console Zion and shall yet choose Jerusalem.'” (Zechariah 1:7-17)

They called on to another, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts. The entire world is filled with His glory.”

Isaiah 6:3

~~~

21 January in History

In 1903, Harry Houdini escaped fromthe police station Halvemaansteeg in Amsterdam.

16 Shevat in History

Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Maroglis first served as rabbi in Brestitzki, Poland, and later in Dubno, Poland/Ukraine. He is the author of a digest of halachic responsa written after the publication of the Code of Jewish Law, known as “Shaarei Teshuvah.”

This work can be found in the margins of most prints of the Code of Jewish Law.

22 January in History

In 1167, Ibn-Ezra passed away at the age of 78 in Calahorra which was on the border between Navarre and Aragon. There is no way that any entry could do justice to this Sephardic writer, philosopher, scientist and world traveler.

17 Shevat in History

A noxious plot was brewing against the Jewish community of Saragossa, Spain, but they were completely unaware of the looming danger. They were spared, however, thanks to a handful of synagogues beadles who acted on a dream they all had. The resulting salvation on the 17th of Shevat was celebrated by Saragossan Jews, and dubbed “Purim Saragossa.”

A Hebrew Megillah (scroll) was penned, describing the details of the miraculous story. To this day, this scroll is read in certain communities on Purim Saragossa.

Listen Kings, lend ear princes!
I am to God, I will sing.
I will make music to God, the Lord of Israel.

Judges 5:3

~~~

14 January in History

In 1987, Israeli warplanes attacked Palestinian targets near the Syrian border today in the fourth raid on Lebanon in 10 days. The raid came hours after an attack by Lebanese guerrillas on a position manned by the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army militia east of Sidon in which three people were reported killed and 10 wounded.
”Air force planes attacked buildings used as command posts for a Palestinian terrorist group and tents,” a spokesman for the Tel Aviv command said. ”All planes returned safely to base.” The raid today was only the second in eastern Lebanon since October 1985.
A month after that attack Israeli planes shot down two Syrian warplanes and Syria retaliated by deploying surface-to-air missiles along its border with Lebanon.

9 Shevat in History

Today marks the passing of Rabbeinu Nissim ben Reuven, the Ran (1308-1376), author of a commentary to the Talmud and a halachic commentary to the work of Rabbeinu Yitzchak Alfasi (the Rif). His extant commentaries on the Rif cover tractates Shabbat, Pesachim, Ta’anit, Rosh HaShanah, Beytza, Sukkah, Megillah, Ketubot, Gittin, Kiddushin, Shevu’ot, and Avodah Zarah.

He wrote in reply about 1,000 responsa, of which only seventy-seven have been preserved.

15 January in History

Today is the birthdate of Josef Breuer, Austrian physician and early founder of psychoanalysis.

10 Shevat in History

Today marks the passing of Rabbi Shalom Sharabi (1777), known by his name’s acronym, the RaShaSH, was born in Yemen, and as a young man immigrated to Israel. He was quickly recognized for his piety and scholarship, especially in the area of Jewish mysticism, and was appointed to be dean of the famed Kabbalistic learning center in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Yeshivat ha-Mekubbalim.

He authored many works, mostly based on the teachings of the great kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Ari. Rabbi Sharabi’s most famous work is a commentary on the prayerbook, replete with kabbalistic meditations.

His mystical works are studied by kabbalists to this very day. He is also considered to be a foremost authority on Yemenite Jewish traditions and customs.

You, don’t be afraid my servant Jacob, do not fear Israel,
I will save you from a distance, and your children from a the land of their captivity.
Jacob will return, be quite, tranquil, with no one causing trouble.

Jeremiah 46:27

~~~

7 January in Histoy

In 1924, George Gershwin completes “Rhapsody in Blue.”

2 Shevat in History

Hashmonean King Alexander-Yannai (Jannaeus), an avowed enemy of the Jewish sages, died on this date. So great was his cruelty and the ruthlessness with which he persecuted the Sages and those loyal to them (some 50,000 were killed in the years 82-76 BCE), that the day of his death was declared a holiday.

8 January in History

In 1598, Expulsion of the Jews from Genoa, Italy.

3 Shevat in History

Shevat 3 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of Rabbi Yosef ben Rabbi Menachem Kalisch zt”l, the Amshinover Rebbe, in 1935.

So says God:

When I gather the house of Israel from the nations they have been scattered to, I will sanctify myself in the sight of the nations, and they will return to the land that I promised Jacob my servant.

Ezekiel 28:25

~~~

31 December in History

In 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman cabled Ben-Gurion demanding that Israeli forces evacuate the Sinai or face the possible loss of U.S. support. Truman did not know that Ben-Gurion had already issued orders for such an evacuation. There are those who think Truman was moving to shore up the British whose support he needed in dealing with the threat of Soviet Imperialism.

24 Tevet in History

The founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), passed away on the eve of the 24th of Tevet, at approximately 10:30 pm, shortly after reciting the Havdalah prayer marking the end of the Shabbat.

His main works on Jewish thought, the Tanya, and his legal works are widely studied for their clarity and relevance to the contemporary human condition.

The Rebbe was in the village of Peyena, fleeing Napoleon’s armies, which had swept through the Rebbe’s hometown of Liadi three months earlier in their advance towards Moscow.

He was in his 68th year at the time of his passing, and was succeeded by his son, Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch.

The movement today is the widest reaching group within Judaism.  In nearly every city that has even a tiny Jewish presence, a Chabad community is in place.

1 January in History

In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York opened. Millions of mostly eastern European Jews would pass through Ellis Island on their way to New York’s Lower East Side or other such urban locations.

25 Tevet in History

Chovat Halvavot, the classical work on Jewish ethics, was authored by Rabbi Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda (the first “Rabbeinu Bechayei”) on or before 1161, and translated into Hebrew from the original Arabic by the famed translator R. Judah idn Tibbon in 1167. It was first published on the 25th of Tevet of the year 5319 from creation (1559).

If you enjoy this blog, please consider a donation to my children’s amazing school, the Torah Day School of Seattle.  Click here to contribute, thanks.

Jeff

~~~

God said to me,

“Don’t say, ‘I am a youth,'”

Wherever I send you, you will go:

Whatever I will command you, you will say.

Do not be afraid of them

Since I am with you, to save you.”

Says God.

Jeremiah 1:7-8

~~~

24 December in History

In 1914, during World War I The “Christmas truce” begins on the Western Front. Bruce Bairnsfather, who served throughout the war, wrote: “I wouldn’t have missed that unique and weird Christmas Day for anything. … I spotted a German officer, some sort of lieutenant I should think, and being a bit of a collector, I intimated to him that I had taken a fancy to some of his buttons. … I brought out my wire clippers and, with a few deft snips, removed a couple of his buttons and put them in my pocket. I then gave him two of mine in exchange. … The last I saw was one of my machine gunners, who was a bit of an amateur hairdresser in civil life, cutting the unnaturally long hair of a docile Boche, who was patiently kneeling on the ground whilst the automatic clippers crept up the back of his neck.

For more about this amazing tale read Silent Night: The Story of The World War I Christmas Truce by the Jewish author, Stanley Weintraub.

17 Tevet in History

In 1684, a group of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled the Inquisition held a Rosh Hashanah service in New Amsterdam, thereby founding congregation Shearith Israel (“Remnant of Israel”). On this 17th of Tevet in 1728, the congregation purchased a lot in Lower Manhattan to erect the first synagogue in New York.

25 December in History

In 1886, today is the birthdate of Franz Rosenzweig. Born in Germany, Rosenzweig was “an existential philosopher.” According to one description of The Star of Redemption, his seminal philosophic work Rosenzweig “sees the world as consisting of three elements – man , the universe and God, which enter a relationship through revealing themselves to one another. The three points form a triangle, which intersect with a second triangle of creation, revelation and redemption. Their relations become historical forces” which in one case is Judaism – hence the star. Revelation, which is a continuing process of good, leads to redemption. Man helps to bring the universe to redemption by converting his love for God into his love for his fellow man.

Rosenzweig pioneered the construction of a Jewish-Christian relation without polemic, which became the basis for postwar interfaith dialogue.” In his personal life, Rosenzweig fought crippling paralysis with the assistance of his wife. He passed away in 1929.

Quotes from Rosenzwewig: “Jewish prayer means praying in Hebrew.” (This from a man who translated the entire Bible into German) “We owe our survival to a book – the only book of antiquity that is still in living use as a scroll.”

Asked, ‘What does Judaism think about Jesus?” he answered ‘It doesn’t.’

18 Tevet in History

In 1841, today marks the passing of The 18th of Tevet the yahrtzeitof Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Shapiro of Dynov (1783?-1841), author of the Chassidic work B’nei Yissachar.

The days of King David’s death drew near, and he commanded Shlomo his son, saying:
“I am going the way of the land,
Strengthen yourself, and be a man.
Keep the guard of God your Lord,
To walk in His ways,
To observe His laws, commands, and testimonies,
as is written in the law of Moses;
So that you will be successful in all that you do,
and to which ever area you should turn.

Kings I 2:1-3

~~~

17 December in History

In 1894, today is the birthdate of Arthur Fiedler. Fiedler gained fame as the conductor of the Boston Pops which he turned into an American institution. He passed away in 1979.

10 Tevet in History

On the 10th of Tevet of the year 3336 from Creation (425 BCE), the armies of the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. Thirty months later — on Tammuz 9, 3338 — the city walls were breached, and on Av 9th of that year, the Holy Temple was destroyed. The Jewish people were exiled to Babylonia for 70 years.

18 December in History

In 1787, New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Like many of the original thirteen colonies, New Jersey had religious restrictions for holding office that were not removed until the 19th century. By the 1840’s Patterson, NJ, “launched a congregation” and in 1857, the Jews of Elizabeth began meeting for regular worship services. New Jersey’s Jewish experience would prove to be unique because of the success of the agricultural movement that began in 1882 when Michael Heilprin helped a group European immigrants establish Carmel in southern New Jersey.

11 Tevet in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Shlomo Eiger, author of Gilyon Maharsha, son of Rav Akiva Eiger in 1851.

Son of man,
Take one branch  and write on it “For Judah” for Israel and his companions.

Take another branch and write on it “For Yosef;” a branch for Efraim and his companions, the house of Israel.

Bring them one to another, as one branch, and they will become one branch in your hand.

Ezekiel  37:16-17

~~~

10 December in History

In 1898, the Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the Spanish-American War. Following the war, a number of Jewish veterans settled in Cuba. By 1904, they were able to establish a synagogue in Havana.

3 Tevet in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Yechezkel Ezra Yehoshua, Rav of the Iraqi community in Yerushalayim (1941).

11 December in History

In 1937, at Yeshiva College, Governor Frank Murphy of Michigan speaks at the opening session of a two-day national conference of Jewish organizations which is attended by more than 600 delegates. Dr. Bernard Revel, President of Yeshiva College also addresses the delegates.

4 Tevet in History

Today marks the passing of Rebbetzin Recha Schwab (1908-2003). Married in 1931, she moved with Rav Schwab to the United States in 1936, and settled in Washington Heights in 1958. She left this world with 180 descendents, all Torah-observant.

 

Listen to these words, that God speaks to you, Children of Israel; to the entire family that I have raised from the Land of Egypt:

Only you have I known, from all the families of the land;

Therefore I will take account of all of your sins.

Amos 3:1-2

~~~

26 November in History

In 1944, as World War II entered its last phase, the Germans decided to hide all evidence of the mass murders. On orders from Himmler the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz and Birkenau were blown up.

19 Kislev in History

Today marks the passing of Rabbi DovBer, known as “The Maggid of Mezeritch”, was the disciple of, and successor to, the founder of Chassidism, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi DovBer led the Chassidic movement from 1761 until his passing on Kislev 19, 1772.

27 November in History

In 1924, in the New York City the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held. Macey’s was not founded by Jews, but it was two Jews, Isidor and Nathan Straus, who took control of the store in 1896 who turned into what was then “biggest department store in the world.”

20 Kislev in History

In 347 BCE, Ezra, head of the Sanhedrin and the leader of the Jewish people at the time of the building of the Second Temple, made an historic address to a three-day assemblage of Jews in Jerusalem, exhorting them to adhere to the teachings of the Torah and to dissolve their interfaith marriages; the Jewish people were on the verge of complete assimilation at the time, following their 70-year exile in Babylonia.

The House of Jacob will be fire,
The House of Joseph flame,
The House of Esav will be the straw:

They will burn and devour it,
No surveyor will be left of the House of Esav,

God has spoken.

~~~

The liberators will march on Mt. Zion and wreak judgement on the Mt. Esav, and dominion will be God’s.

Ovadiah 1:18; 21

~~~~

19 November in History

In 1909, at the request of the Hahambashi, the Grand Vizier of Turkey directed the Minister of War to appoint Jewish chaplains to battalions where Jews serve, to grant soldiers the ability to observe the high holidays and to facilitate they be provided with kosher food. The Hahambashi also requested that all teachers in Jewish school and rabbinical students be granted an exemption from military service.

12 Kislev in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritch and Tzefat (1765-1840). He was a disciple of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev and the first two Rebbes of Chernobyl. Rebbe of Avritch from 1785, he moved to Tzefat in 1830 at the age of 65.

He is the author of Bas Ayin, a commentary on Chumash.

In the deadly earthquake of 24 Tevet 5597 (January 1, 1837), 5,000 people lost their lives, of whom 4,000 were Jews. Although most of the community of the Avritcher Rebbe collapsed, the part where the men were clustered remained upright and everyone was saved. He is buried in the old cemetery of Tzefas.

20 November in History

In 1272, Edward I proclaimed King of England. Edward is remembered as the English king, who, after stripping the Jews of their wealth, expelled them from his realm in 1290.

13 Kislev in History

In the first decades of the 5th century, Rav Ashi (d. 427) and Ravina I (d. 421) led a group of the Amoraim (Talmudic sages) in the massive undertaking of compiling the Babylonian Talmud — collecting and editing the discussions, debates and rulings of hundreds of scholars and sages which had taken place in the more than 200 years since the compilation of the Mishnah by Rabbi Judah HaNassi in 189.

The last of these editors and compilers was Ravina II, who passed away on the 13th of Kislev of the year 4235 from creation (475 CE); after Ravina II, no further additions were make to the Talmud, with the exception of the minimal editing undertaken by the Rabbanan Savura’i (476-560). This date marks the point at which the Talmud was “closed” and became the basis for all further exegesis of Torah law.

So says God,
“A voice cries in Rama,
Wailing, bitter crying is heard,
Rachel is crying for her children,
She refuses to be consoled,
Since they are gone.”

So says God,
“Refrain your voice from crying,
Your eyes from tears,
There is a reward for your work, says God,
They will return from the lands of the enemies.”

Yermiah 31

~~~

12 November in History

In 1933, the Nazis received 92% of vote in Germany only a few months after gaining power through an electoral squeaker.

5 Kislev in History

Kislev 5 is the yahrtzeit (date of the passing) of Rabbi Shemuel Eliezer Eidel’s (1555-1631), known by the acronym “Maharsha”. Rabbi Shmuel authored a highly regarded and widely used commentary on the Talmud and its primary commentaries, Rashi and Tosfot.

13 November in History

In 2007, while visiting Israel, Ukranian President Viktor Yuschenko promised followers of Reb Nachman that he would protect the gravesite from sale or commercial exploitation.

13 Kislev in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Yaakov Moshe Charlap (1883-1951). Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Merkaz Harav and Rav of Yerushalayim’s Sha’arei Chessed neighborhood. He was a close disciple of Rav Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook. Author of Mei Marom and Michtavei Marom.

From the sun’s shining until it has gone,
My Name is great among the nations.

Every place where incense and offerings are, the are for my Name, and the pure flour offering.

My Name is great among the nations, says God.

Malachi 1:11

~~~

5 November in History

In 1902, Herzl’s London representative, Leopold Greenberg, met Lord Cromer, British Counsel-General in Egypt, and Egyptian prime minister Boutros Ghali Pasha. He succeeded in winning them over to the Zionist cause.

6 November in History

In 1840, at Constantinople, Sultan Abd Al-Majid issued a statement declaring that Jews did not use blood in their ceremonies, and for any of the Sultan’s subjects to say the Jews did was not truth. Moses Montefiore met with the Sultan and helped to secure this Decree.  The Sultan issued the firman to protect the Jews of Rhodes and in Damascus, who were being persecuted by this old anti-Semitic remark.

28 Cheshvan in History

Today marks the passing of Rabbeinu Yonah (ben Avraham) of Gerondi, France (1200 [1180]-1263). The Ramban’s mother and Rabbeinu Yonah’s father were siblings. Many years later, the Ramban’s son, Rav Shlomo, married the daughter of Rabbeinu Yonah. Thus, the two great rishonim were mechutanim (related through marriage) as well as first cousins. He was a student of Rav Shlomo ben Avraham Min Ha’Har. When King Louis XIV of France, “Saint” Louis,” burnt all the copies of the Talmud in Paris in the Square of the Louvre, Rabbeinu Yonah, one of the Rambam’s main detractors, felt that the events in Paris were a sign that he and the other opponents of the Rambam were seriously wrong. He then composed his work Shaarei Teshuvah (Gates of Repentence), in which he outlined the methods of doing Teshuvah (repentence), and he traveled from place to place preaching about the need to back away from matters which cause division among the Jewish People.  Among his students are the Rashba and Ra’ah.

29 Cheshvan in History

The city of Mumbai, India, was hit with a series of coordinated terror attacks, starting on Wednesday evening, the 29th of Cheshvan 5769, which left close to 200 dead and scores more injured.

One of the terrorists’ chosen targets was the local Chabad House, known as the “Nariman House,” operated by Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Rabbi Gavriel Noach (Gabi) and Rivkah (Rivki) Holtzberg.

In the subsequent standoff, which continued until Friday afternoon, Gabi and Rivki and several other Jews in the Chabad House – Rabbis Bentzion Chroman and Leibish Teitelbaum, Norma Schwartzblatt-Rabinowitz and Yocheved Orpaz – were killed in cold blood.

Miraculously, the Holtzbergs’ two-year-old child, Moshe, was saved by his nanny.

King David responded and said, “Call for me Bat Sheva.”  She came before the King, and she stood.

The King promised and said, “As God lives, who has saved my soul from every trouble, as I have promised to you, in the name of the Lord, God of Israel: Shlomo your son will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place; I will make it happen today.”

Bat Sheva bowed with her face to the ground, prostrating herself toward the King, and she said, “Let my master, the King David, live forever.”

Kings I 1:31

~~~

29 October in History

In 1833, all Jews except for peddlers and petty traders were granted civic equality in the Germanic domain called Hesse-Cassel. The remainder of Germany took nearly forty years to follow suit.

30 October in History

In 1270, the Eighth Crusade comes to an ignominious end. The crusade started under the banner of France’s anti-Semitic King Louis IX. But he died of stomach ailment in August. Effective leadership devolved to Charles, King of Naples. The crusaders got no further than Tunis. The crusaders agreed to lift their siege of the Arab capital in exchange for commercial advantages. The crusaders went home having failed to accomplish any of their own noble aims. Considering the miseries that the Crusaders heaped on the Jews, they were just as glad to finally glad to see them come to an end after almost two centuries.

21 Cheshvan in History

Today marks the passing of Rav David ben Zimra, the Radbaz (1480-1573). Arriving in Tzefat as a child after the Spanish expulsion, he emigrated to Egypt in 1514. Shortly thereafter, he was recognized as chief rabbi of Egypt, a post he held for 40 years.

His income came through business, from which he became quite wealthy. Among his students in Cairo were Rav Yitzchak Luiria (the Ari) and Rav Betazelel Azhkenazi, the Shita Mekubetzet.

In 1553, he returned to Eretz Yisrael, settling in Tzefat.

In 1755, a great earthquake struck Lisbon, Portugal, destroying much of the city including the courthouse of the Inquisition.

Elisha said to Gehazi, “What can we do for this woman (to repay her for the kindness she has shown us)?”  Gehazi said, “She has no children, and her husband is old.”  Elisha said, “Call the woman.”  She came, and stood by the door.

Elisha said, “This time next year you will be hugging a child.”

She responded, “Do not lie to your maidservant.”

Kings II 4:12-15

~~~

Reflections:

1.  Was her response rude, or simply a profound statement of disbelief?

2.  How is her response similar to Avraham’s of “Would it be that Ishmael would live before you?”

~~~

14 Cheshvan in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Avraham Elimelech Perlow of Stolin-Karlin (1891-1942). Born to Rav Yisrael “the Yenuka” of Stolin, Reb Avraham Elimelech married in 1912. He succeeded his father as Rebbe in 1922; most of his father’s Chasidim followed him as he settled in Karlin, while his brother, Rav Dovid of Zlatipol led a flock to Stolin. In 1929, Rav Avraham Elimelech founded a yeshiva in Luninetz.

He, his wife, and his two sons were murdered by local Ukranian peasants. His actual day of death is not known. This day has been chosen as his Yom Hazikaronm or day of remembrance. A collection of his chidushei Torah, new ideas on Torah,  have been recorded as “Kuntres Pri Elimelech” and printed in Yalkut Divrei Aharon and in Birchas Aharon.

22 October in History

In 1903, birthdate of Curly Howard. Born Jerome Lester Horwitz, Howard was one of the Three Stooges, along with his brother Moe Howard and Larry Fine.

15 Cheshvan in History

n the 2nd century before the common era, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) who, with the collaboration of the Jewish Hellenists, introduced pagan idols into the Holy Temple and set about to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Mattityahu, the son of the High Priest Yochanan, was already an old man when he picked up a sword and raised the flag of revolt in the village of Modiin in the Judean hills. Many rallied under his cry, “Who that is for G-d, come with me!” and resisted and battled the Greeks from their mountain hideouts.

After heading the revolt for one year, Mattityahu died on the 15th of Cheshvan of the year 3622 from creation (139 BCE). His five sons — the “Macabees” Judah, Yochanan, Shimon, Elazar and Yonatan — carried on the battle to their eventual victory, celebrated each year since by Jews the world over with the festival of Chanukah.

23 October in History

In 1927, in Israel, a moshav that would be late known as Netanya is founded by Nathan Strauss.

Why does Jacob say,
And Israel speak,
“My way is hidden from God;”
“My judgement will pass by my God.”

Do you now know?
Have you not heard?
The God of the universe, creator of heavens and earth,
Does not tire or wary.
There is no limit to His understanding.

He gives strength to the weary;
To him without drive He gives strength.

Youths will wary and grow tired.
The young will stumble and fall.

Those who trust in God will be changed into new strength.
They will spread wings like an eagle,
They will run and not tire,
The will walk and not wary.

Isaiah 40:27-31

~~~

15 October in History

In 1894, Col. Alfred Dreyfus was first arrested. This marked the start of what would become known as the Dreyfus Affair.

7 Cheshvan in History

During the Second Temple Era (circa 230 BCE), Cheshvan 7 was the date on which the Jew most distant from the Holy Temple — who resided on the banks of the Euphrates River, a 15-day journey’s distance from Jerusalem — arrived at his homestead upon returning from the Sukkot pilgrimage. All Jews would wait for this before beginning to pray for rain. Cheshvan 7 thus marked the return to everyday activities following the spirituality of the festival-rich month of Tishrei.

16 October in History

In 1649, the American colony of Maine passed legislation granting religious freedom to all its citizens, on condition that those of contrary religious persuasions behave acceptably. This early evidence of religious tolerance demonstrates while Jews would flourish in the land that would become the United States.

8 Cheshvan in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Menachem Nachum Kaplan (Nachumke) of Horodna, Lithuania (1811-1879). When he was nine years old, he lived in the home of Reb Yehuda Leib Ganker and learned with this wealthy man every morning.

Later, he wandered through Lithuania until he came to Amshina, where he studied under Rav Avraham Kahane. Eventually, he was accepted to the Mirrer yeshiva and became close to its mashgiach, Rav Yisrael Heller. He married the daughter of wealthy man, but after a number of years, his father-in-law died.

Poverty- stricken, Reb Nachumke took a job as a shamash in the Chevras Shas Beis Midrash in Korodna. However, his fame spread, and many throughout eastern Europe came to observe him and learn from him. Among those was the Chafetz Chaim, then only 15 years old.

So says God,
The Lord, creator of heavens, and stretched them out,
Creator of the earth and what it brings forth,
Who gives soul to the nation on it,
And spirit to those that walk on it:

I am God.
I have called you to righteousness.
I have taken hold of your hand.
I have formed you.
I have placed you as a covenantal people:
A light to the nations.

Isaiah 42:4-5

~~~

29 September in History

In 1907, Bar Giora, a Palestinian Jewish self-defense organization was formed to protect the Jewish settlements from raiders. Two years later it was reorganized into HaShomer (the Watchman) by Israel Shochat. HaShomer was eventually transformed into the Haganah. Despite opposition from local Jews and the “Baron’s” overseers (i.e. Baron Rothschild), they persevered with the idea of Jews taking responsibility for their own defense.

21 Tishrei in History

Today is known as Hoshana Rabba. In addition to the Four Kinds taken every day of Sukkot, it is a “Rabbinical Mitzvah”, dating back to the times of the Prophets, to take an additional aravah, or willow, on the 7th day of Sukkot. In the Holy Temple, large, 18-foot willow branches were set around the altar. Today, we take the Four Kinds and carry them together with the Four Kinds around the reading table in the synagogue during the “Hashaanot” prayers, of which we recite a more lengthy version today, making seven circuits around the table (instead of the daily one). At the conclusion of the Hoshaanot we strike the ground five times with a bundle of five willows, symbolizing the “tempering of the five measures of harshness.”

30 September in History

In 1337, in Bavaria, a German knight named Hartmann von Deggenburg led his horseman through the gates of Deckendorf, where they joined the local citizenry, in slaughtering the local Jewish population and seizing their property. The Jews had been accused of desecrating the host or communion wafer and the slaughter was the punishment for the foul deed. In reality the councilors of the city of Deckendorff desired to free themselves and all the citizens from the debts owed to the Jews. The anti-Semitic violence spread to fifty-one communities, including Bohemia and Austria.

22 Tishrei in History

In today’s musaf prayer we begin to insert the phrase mashiv haruach umorid hageshem (“who makes the wind blow and brings down the rain”) in our daily prayers (as we’ll continue to do through the winter, until the 1st day of Passover). Special hymns on rain and water are added to musaf in honor of the occasion.

1 October in History

In 331 BCE Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated the Persian army at Gaugamela. This victory cemented Greek domination over the Persian Empire. Alexander would be crowned “King of Asia” after the battle. Alexander’s armies were instrumental in bringing Greek culture to the lands of Asia Minor including the homeland of the Jewish people. This would mark the beginning of the uneasy and sometimes violent interaction between the world of Moses and Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, et al.

23 Tishrei in History

Today is Simchat Torah (“Rejoicing of the Torah”), on which we conclude, and begin anew, the annual Torah reading cycle. The event is marked with great rejoicing, and the “hakafot” procession, held both on the eve and morning of Simchat Torah, in which we march and dance with Torah scrolls around the reading table in the synagogue.

During today’s Torah reading, everyone, including children under the age of Bar Mitzvah, is called up to the Torah; thus the reading is read numerous times, and each aliyah is given collectively to many individuals, so that everyone should recite the blessing over the Torah on this day.

2 October in History

It was on this day in 1656, Yom Kippur services were held for the first time in Amsterdam. Neighbors thinking they were secret Catholics reported them to the authorities and the leaders were arrested. Once it was explained that they were secret Jews rather then Papists, they were let alone and the leaders released. The oldest synagogue in Amsterdam (possibly all of Western Europe) is “The Great Synagogue” built in 1671. According to historians, it was built so that Jews would not have to worship in clandestine places.

24 Tishrei in History

The Shabbat after Simchat Torah is Shabbat Bereishit — “Shabbat of Beginning” — the first Shabbat of the annual Torah reading cycle, on which the Torah section ofBereishit (“In the Beginning”) is read.

Note from Jeff:
Thank you to everyone who has downloaded this app and joined me on this journey. I wish you all much blessing, health, and healing in 5771.

שנה טובה
Happy New Year
jeff.alhadeff@gmail.com
twitter.com/jewishalmanac
~~~

So says God,
“A voice cries in Rama,
Wailing, bitter crying is heard,
Rachel is crying for her children,
She refuses to be consoled,
Since they are gone.”

So says God,
“Refrain your voice from crying,
Your eyes from tears,
There is a reward for your work, says God,
They will return from the lands of the enemies.”

There is hope at the end, says God, the children will return to their boundaries.

I have surely heard Ephraim (the Northern tribes) talking to himself,
“I have been rebuked, I will be corrected,
Like a calf who is yet untrained.
Return me, and I will return,
Since you are my God.”

“After I returned, I relented; after I knew (what I did)
I slapped my thigh. I am ashamed, and disgraced, since I have bore
The disgrace of my youth.”

“Ephraim is a precious child to me, a
Child of my pleasure:
The more I speak of him,
The more I remember him.
My insides pine for him.

I will surely have compassion on him,”
Says God.

Yermiah 31:14-19
~~~

8 September in History

In 1916, Salonica government declares compulsory military service is now required and that all Jews over 21 cannot leave from its newly acquired provinces.

29 Elul in History

Rav Eliezer Deutsch of Bonihad [or Bonyhad] (1914). Author of P’ri Hasadeh, Duda-ei Hasadeh. Bonihad is a small town in Tolna County in Hungary. The first document on the Jews of Bonyhád is a tax conscritption from 1741, although on the testimony of a few tombstones in the cemetery, Jews had already settled earlier, in the first decades of the century. In 1802, there were 400 Jewish families and an impressive synagogue and yeshivah. The population of about 6,500 in 1930 consisted of about 15% Jews, the largest number of Jews in Tolna County. With the German occupation in 1944, 1,180 Jews were deported to Pecs and then to Auschwitz. All but 50 perished. In 1963, 4 Jewish families remain in Bonyhad.

9 September in History

In 1850, California joins the Union adding a 33rd star to the U.S. flag. A year before California joined the Union there were enough Jews to hold Yom Kippur Services in San Francisco. By the end of the decade there were ten congregations in San Francisco and one in Sacramento. During this time there were two Jewish associate justices of the state court and at least one Jew was serving in the state legislature.

1 Tishrei in History

In 3760 BCE, on 1 Tishrei — the sixth day of creation — “God said: ‘Let us make Man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth…'” (Genesis 1:26). “God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (ibid., 2:7). “And God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, to work it and to keep it” (2:15). “And G-d said: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet opposite him’ … God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his sides, and closed up the flesh in its place. And God built the side which He had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. And the man said: ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother, and cleaves to his wife; and they become one flesh” (2:18-24).

It was also the day that the first transgression, and repentance, occurred.

10 September in History

In 1950, according to reports published today, the government of Israel will be issuing a stamp at harvest time picturing Stahveet, a cow which has produced 100,000 litres of milk, which may be a world’s record.

2 Tishrei in History

Today marks the passing of Gedaliah ben Achikam, assasinated by Yishmael ben Nesanya. Gedaliah was appointed as governor over the Jews by Nebuchadnetzer after the destruction of the Temple 422 BCE or 419 BCE.

11 September in History

Marks the ninth year since the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the heroic acts of Flight 93.

Below are two recordings of cell phone calls from Flight 93:

“I have to go. They’re breaking into the cockpit. I love you.” Honor Elizabeth Wainio told her stepmother.

“Everyone is running up to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.” Flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw to her husband.

3 Tishrei in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Yisrael Lipshitz of Danzig, author of Tiferet Yisrael, a popular commentary on the Mishnayot (1782-1860). He also authored Shevilei D’rakiya, an introduction to the principles of Rabbinical astronomy and determining the Molad (new moon); it appears in the beginning of Seder Mo’ed in the “Tiferes Yisrael” sets of Mishnayot.

Additionally, he wrote ”Derush Ohr HaChaim” (Homily on the Light of Life) which debates the eternality of the soul.

Zion says,
“God has forsaken me,
My Master has forgotten me.”

[God says] Can a woman forget her child?
[Though] she might be consoled [over the lost] son of her womb,
She may forget;
I could never forget you.

~~~

The children of your bereavement [lost to exile],
Will soon say in your ears,
“This place is too crowded for me;
Make room so I can settle!”

And you will say to yourself,
“Who bore these for me,
When I was bereaved and lonely,
Exiled and bitter
But these, who raised them?
I was left alone;
Where have these been?”

Isaiah 49:14-15; 20-21

~~~
30 July in History

In 1792, Baltimore, Maryland is founded. Jews were already living in the colony of Maryland when Baltimore was founded. The Jewish community in Baltimore is one of the oldest in the country. However, the first building that was built as a synagogue, the Lloyd Street Synagogue, was not constructed until 1845.

31 July in History

In 1992, Rishon Lezion or First For Zion was founded by a group of 10 families in Eretz Israel. The settlement marked the beginning of the first Aliyah (going up) to Eretz- Israel, and the beginning of Rothschild’s deep involvement with settlement activities. Later that year, Baron Edmund De Rothschild in response to the Russian pogroms and a plea by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever agreed to help the new Moshava (settlement).

19 Av in History

Rav Shimon Shalom Kalish, the Amshinover Rebbe (1863-1954). Born to Rav Menachem of Amshinov, a grandson of Rav Yitzchak of Vorka, founder of the Vorka-Amshinov dynasty. During his teens, Reb Shimon was sent to learn with his uncle, Rav Yeshaya of Peshischa.

In 1918, Rav Menachem of Amshinov passed away, and his older son, Rav Yosef took his place as Rebbe. Rav Shimon was sent to Otvotzk, a suburb of Warsaw. He also became a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. In 1933, he spent a full year in Eretz Yisrael with his son, Rav Yerachmiel Yehuda Meir. Although he wished to stay, his obligations forced him to move back to Europe.

The Rebbe escaped to Kobe, Japan, along with a group pf talmidim, students, of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, and the entire Mir Yeshiva. After the war, he spent 8 years in America. He passed away while planning his emigration to Eretz Yisrael, a goal he never accomplished. He did author the sefer, Mashmia Shalom. His son, Rav Meir, became the Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan and was niftar in 1976.

20 Av in History

This Shabbat is the second of the seven weeks of consolation that bridge the Shabbat after the Ninth of Av with the Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. A passage of consolation from the book of Isaiah is read as the Haftara.

In 1558 was the first printing of the Zohar, the fundamental work of the Kabbalah (Jewish esoteric and mystical teachings), authored by the Talmudic sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Comfort, comfort My people,
Says God.

Speak to the heart of Jerusalem,
Call out to her!
Her service is full,
Her sin is forgiven:
She has taken from God’s hand,
A double portion for all her sins.

A voice is calling in the desert:
Clear out the way for God!
Level the wilderness!
A highway for our God.

Every valley will be raised,
Every mountain and hill be made low,
That which is bent, be made straight,
The ridges be a plain.

The honor of God will be revealed,
Together, all flesh will see it.

The mouth of God has spoken.

Isaiah 40:1-4

~~~

23 July in History

Today in 1501 a violent earth quake hit the land of Israel. The town of Akko was totally destroyed.

24 July in History

In 1918, on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, Dr. Chaim Weizmann laid the cornerstone for Hebrew University. It would be several more years before construction began and the university would actually become a reality.

12 Av in History

By order of King James I of Aragon (Spain), Nachmanides (Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, 1194-1270) was compelled to participate in a public debate, held in the king’s presence, against the Jewish convert to Christianity, Pablo Christiani. His brilliant defense of Judaism and refutations of Christianity’s claims served as the basis of many such future disputations through the generations.

Because his victory was an insult to the king’s religion, Nachmanides was forced to flee Spain. He came to Jerusalem, where he found just a handful of Jewish families living in abject poverty, and revived the Jewish community there. The synagogue he built in the Old City is in use today, and is perhaps the oldest standing synagogue in the world.

Now called the Hurva Synagogue, it was recently rebuild after the Arabs destroyed it when the Jews were forced out of the Old City in 1948. Click here to see a picture.

13 Av in History

Av 13 is the day of the passing, at age 101, of the famed philanthropist and Jewish advocate, Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885).

Then, Joshua spoke to God, on the day God gave the Emorites to the Children of Israel. He said in plain view of the Children of Israel:
Sun, in Givon, be still.
And the moon, in the valley of Ayalon.
The sun was still,
and the moon stood
while the nation demolished its enemies.

Is it not written in the Book of the Just: The sun stood in the middle of the sky, and did not press on to set for an entire day. There was not a day like it before, or a day after it again, when God listened to the voice of a man, since God was fighting for Israel.

Joshua 10:12-15

~~~

15 June in History

In 1888, Crown Prince Wilhelm becomes Kaiser Wilhelm II. Ten years after coming to the throne, the Kaiser would visit Jerusalem in 1898 where Herzl tried, and failed, to interest him creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

3 Tammuz in History

On the third of Tammuz of the year 2488 from creation (1273 BCE), Joshua was leading the Jewish people in one of the battles to conquer the Land of Israel. Victory was imminent, but darkness was about to fall. “Sun,” proclaimed Joshua, “be still at Giv’on; moon, at the Ayalon valley” (Joshua 10:12). The heavenly bodies acquiesced, halting their progress through the sky until Israel’s armies brought the battle to its successful conclusion.

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