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He who has not seen the building of the Second Temple, has not seen a handsome building in his life.

Which time of the Second Temple?  It means the building of Herod.

Of what materials was it built? Said Rabba: Of black and white marble; and according to others, of other colors also. He made one tier of stones projecting outward, and one tier of stones remaining inside. He wished to overlay it with gold, but the sages said to him: Leave it so, because it is more beautiful, having the appearance of waves of the sea.

Sukkah Chapter 5

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12 December in History

In 1925, the Majlis of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Persia. The new Shah removed “removed restrictions on Jews and other religious minorities.’ He prohibited the mass conversion of Jews and “Jews were allowed to hold government jobs.” But the Shah’s sympathetic view of Nazi Germany, along with an under-current of anti-Jewish sentiment, left the community with a sense of discomfort.

5 Tevet in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Shlomo Molcho (1500-1532). Born in Lisbon, Portugal, a descendant of Portuguese Marranos. He published 22 essays on the topic of redemption according to the secrets of Kabbalah in his work, Sefer Hamefoar.

He met with the Pope and asked him to stop the campaign against the Marranos. He also met Rabbi Yossef Karo in Tzfat and the Kabbalist Rabbi Yosef Taitzik of Salonica who taught R’ Molcho Kabbalah.

His speeches inspired many Marranos to publicly return to their faith. Arrested by the officers of the Inquisition, he recited Shema with great joy as he was burned at the stake by Roman Emperor Charles V in Mantua, Italy.

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