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Aggadah

R. Johanan said: The following three kinds of people will inherit the world to come: Those that live in the Holy Land, those that send their children to houses of learning, and those that say the benediction at the conclusion of the Sabbath with wine (i.e., those that have but little wine and leave some of the wine from the Sabbath Day for the conclusion of the Sabbath.)
Pesachim Chapter 10

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14 April in History

Today in 1921 the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that “Tel-Aviv has been officially recognized as an independent township.” The adoption of Hebrew names by Jewish immigrants has resulted in the adoption of government policy “permitting any change of name provided the change is duly advertised in the Official Gazette.

30 Nisan in History

The Buchenwald concentration camp was founded in 1937 near the town of Weimar, Germany. Approximately 250,000 prisoners were incarcerated in this camp until its liberation in 1945.
Weimar is a German city known for its highly cultured citizenry. It was the home of many of the upper class intellectual members of Europe’s society. Among others, Goethe, Schiller, Franz Liszt, and Bach lived in Weimar.

Though technically not an extermination camp, approximately 56,000 prisoners were murdered in Buchenwald (not including many others who died after being transferred to other extermination camps). They died from vicious medical experiments, summary executions, torture, beatings, starvation, and inhuman work conditions. The camp was also known for its brutality. German officers would force inmates to eat their meager soup ration off the mud on the ground; would keep them standing in the cold until they froze to death; and they would even use skin of dead inmates to make lamp shades.
On the 30th of Nissan 1945 the Sixth Armored Division of the United States Third Army liberated the camp.

Among the more famous inmates who spent time in Buchenwald are Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.

It is the Yahrzeit of Rav Chaim Vital (1543-1620). Born in Tzefat in Israel, two years after his family moved there from Calabria, Italy. He learned under Rav Moshe Alshich from the age of 14, for several years. He then learned kaballah from Rav Moshe Cordevero, the Ramak. In 1570, the Arizal came to Tzefat from Egypt, and after the passing of the Remak, Rav Chaim became the Arizal’s closest disciple. He wrote Etz Chaim, Shaarei Hakanot, and Shaarei Kedusha (a guide to achieving ruach ha-kodesh and nevuah), and edited and organized all existing manuscripts of the words of the Arizal, today know as Kitvei Arizal. He died in Damascus. His grave was later moved to Kiryat Malachi.

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