You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Yom Kippur’ tag.

Then God said,
“You cared about the plant, which you did not work for and which you did not grow, which appeared overnight and perished overnight. And I should not care about Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people how do not know the difference between their right hand and left hand, and many animals?”

Yonah 4:10-11


It was on 17 September 1918 tthat Chaim Herzog sixth President of Israel was born. Herzog was born in 1918 in Belfast, where his father, Dr Isaac Herzog, was rabbi. While Chaim was still a child, Isaac was appointed Chief Rabbi of Ireland and the family moved to Dublin. Chaim is remembered there as a former bantam-weight boxing champion. After college, he moved to Palestine in 1935. He joined the Palmach and defended Jewish settlements during the Arab Uprising that lasted from 1936 until 1938. Herzog returned to England where he studied to become a lawyer. He fought with the British forces in Europe during World War II where his forte was intelligence. After the war, he returned to Palestine where he took an active role in the fighting to create the new state of Israel.

After the war, the new state made use of Herzog’s knowledge of Intelligence work. He enjoyed a successful career filling several military, civilian and private sector positions. He passed away in 1997.

Chaim Herzog in his own words: “I do not bring forgiveness with me, nor forgetfulness. The only ones who can forgive are dead; the living have no right to forget.”

On 9 Tishrei,the day before Yom Kippur is a Yom Tov, a festive day; for although we stand prepared to be judged in the supernal courtroom for our deeds of the passed year, we are confident that God is a merciful judge, and will decree a year of life, health and prosperity for us.

Two festive meals are eaten — one at midday and the other before the fast, which begins at sunset. The Talmud states that “Whoever eats and drinks on the 9th [of Tishrei], it is regarded as if he had fasted on both the 9th and the 10th.”

In 18 September, 1851, 1851: The New-York Daily Times, which will become The New York Times, begins publishing.

10 Tishrei is the fast of Yom Kippur. In addition to being the day when God granted forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf, it is also the day when Rebecca, wife of Isaac, mother of Jacob and Esau, and one of the four matriarchs of Israel, was born. She lived from 1677 – 1556 BCE.

My God, before I was created I had not been worthy to be created; and now when created, I am the same as before.

I am earth during my life, and so much the more when I will be dead.

I am entirely before You as a vessel full of disgrace and shame.

May it be Your will that I may not sin more; and my sins until now may You in Your great mercy wipe off, but not by means of suffering.

Yoma Chapter 8


In 1254, birthdate of Marco Polo. Marco Polo told of meeting Chinese Jews in his 1286 journey to China.

Birthday and Yahrtzeit of Zevulun son of Yaakov Avinu in 1450 BCE. It is also the birthday of Dina daughter of Yaakov.

When R. Zara was on bad terms with any person, he would walk by him repeatedly, that the other might change his heart, and appease him.

Yoma Chapter 8


Today (13 September) Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David in 1503.

It was on 5 Tishrei that Naftali, son of Jacob and Bilhah, was born and passed away.

5 Tishrei also marks the day when the great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Akiva, was taken captive by the Romans in the year 3894 from creation (134 CE).

R. Jose b. Hanina said, “When one tries to appease another, he does not need to try more than three times, as it is written [Gen. l. 17]: I pray You, forgive, I pray You, the trespass of your brothers, and their sin, for evil have they done unto you, and now we pray of you, forgive

If the offended person is dead, he should bring ten people to his grave and say: I have sinned against God and him who lies here.

Yoma Chapter 8


Today (4 Tishrei) the fast of Gedalia is observed. Gedaliah was appointed as governor over the Jews by Nebuchadnetzer after the destruction of the Temple 422 BCE or 419 BCE. He was assassinated on the second day of Rosh Hashana, and as such the fast is most often observed the day after Rosh Hashana, on the 3rd of Tishrei. This year, the Sabbath immediately followed Rosh Hashana, which pushes off the fast an additional day.

Today (12 September) was the birthdate of Alfred A. Knopf in 1892, founder of Alfred Knopf, Inc., the famous American publishing house. “He went to college to become a lawyer, but he fell in love with literature and decided to devote his life to it. At the time, the publishing world was a kind of gentlemen’s club and Knopf had a hard time fitting in because he was Jewish. He was the first Jewish employee at Doubleday. One of his first projects was to republish all of Joseph Conrad’s books in a set, which he did with the help of H.L. Mencken.

At the time that Knopf got into the publishing business, before television and widespread radio, people said that Americans didn’t read books—they just read the newspapers. Knopf thought that Americans might be more likely to read good books if books were beautiful to look at. He used beautiful, easy to read type and high quality paper, and he was the first publisher to cover his books with brightly colored jackets.

When Knopf founded his own publishing company, he didn’t have enough money to publish big-name American authors, so he published European authors instead. Most American publishers didn’t care about European literature, so Knopf was able to cheaply publish writers like Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, and Albert Camus. When several of his authors won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Alfred A. Knopf Inc. became known as one of the best literary publishing houses.” It was his Jewish wife Blanche Wolf Knopf who encouraged him to follow his dream and start his own publishing house. She was more than just a cheerleader. She was President of Alfred A. Knopf, while her husband served as chairman of the board. She understood the publishing and was a driving force behind many of its major achievements.

Although the publishing company was sold in the 1960’s it remains as a known imprint to this day. Blanche died in 1966. Alfred Knopf passed away in 1984.

He who has provoked his neighbor, even by words, must appease him, as it is written [Prov. vi. 1, etc.]: “My son, if you have become debtor for your friend,” etc., “go hasten to him and urge your friend,” which means, if you have his money, open your palm, and restore it to him; if not, request some persons to pray him to forgive you.

Yoma Chapter 8


7 September in History

70 CE, On the secular calendar the date on which a Roman army under Titus occupied and plundered Jerusalem.

28 Elul in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Aryeh Carmell (1917-2006) was born in England . At the age of 16, Aryeh was sent to study under Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler and became his talmid muvhak (student par excellance). Rav Carmell began to compile Rav Dessler’s teachings under his guidance. After the war he married, making his home in London. He would spend the morning hours learning with some of London’s leading Rabbis. In the afternoon he would go to his office to work for a few hours, setting aside time every day to organize chessed and outreach activities.

He was among the first to become involved in Jewish outreach over 50 years ago. Following Rav Dessler’s petirah he started Yad Eliyahu in London, where children who studied at public schools were taught ahavas Torah and yiras Shomayim. He published Michtav MeEliyohu, a compilation of Rav Dessler’s teachings. The first three volumes were edited with Rav Alter Halperin and Rav Chaim Friedlander, while Rav Carmell edited the fourth and fifth volumes by himself. He also adapted parts of the work into a book in English called Strive for Truth. He also co-edited Challenge: Torah Views on Science and its Problems and wrote an important booklet called Aid to Talmud Study.

When the wave of Russian aliya began he wrote a book called Masterplan. Based on Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch’s Chorev, it also presented reasons behind the commandments. Moving to Eretz Yisrael in 1972, Carmell settled in Jerusalem’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood and helped Rav Boruch Horowitz found Yeshivas Dvar Yerushalayim, Jerusalem’s first yeshiva for baalei teshuvoh returnees to Judaism. He gave lectures on gemora, Jewish perspectives, and ethics.

All sins mentioned in the Torah, whether one repents not, are atoned by the Day of Atonement, except throwing off the yoke (of God), expounding the Torah falsely, and abolition of circumcision (and mocking a fellow man). These sins are atoned for by the Day of Atonement, if one repents, but not otherwise.

Yoma Chapter 8


6 September in History

In 1938, while traveling on the highway between Haifa and Tel Aviv Yechiel Weizmann, Chaim Weizmann’s brother and Yechiel’s son were injured when their car overturned after being fired on by gunmen lying in ambush. Another passenger, the son a prominent Haifa lawyer, died in the crash.

27 Elul in History

Elul 27 is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shalom Rokeach (1779-1855), founder of the Belz Chassidic dynasty.

Children are not made to fast on the Day of Atonement, but when one or two years prior to their coming of age they are accustomed to do it, so that they become habituated to obey the religious commandments.

Yoma Chapter 8


5 September in History

In 1905, today the Russo-Japanese War comes to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth. According to some sources, Jewish financers had supported Japanese efforts to raise funds for fighting the war as an expression of their displeasure with Russia’s treatments of her Jews. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the fighting. In additional to the Medal, there was a cash award four thousand dollars of which TR donated to the Jewish Welfare Board.

26 Elul in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Chaim Pinto of Mogador (1758-1845). The famous Pinto family was dispersed worldwide – primarily to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, and Holland — after 1497 when Portugal expelled its Jews. Rav Shlomo Pinto married his second wife, Chiyuna Beneviste, and moved to Agadir, Morocco.

In 1758, Chiyuna gave birth to their son, Rav Chaim, whom they named after Rav Chaim Vital. Ten years later, Rav Shlomo passed away, leaving his son an orphan. The Sultan of Morocco, Sidi Mohammed, closed down the port of Agadir, replacing it with the new port of Mogador (or Essaquira) that he had completed 1765, far south on Morocco’s west coast. Mogador’s thriving businesses were jumpstarted by thirteen businessmen known as the toujiar el Sultan (the traders of the Sultan) – ten of them Jews and three of them Moslems – and thanks to them and others, Mogador helped open Morocco to Europe. Within twenty years, the Mogador Jews would comprise half or more of the town’s 6,000 residents.

Young Chaim moved to Mogador and learned in the yeshiva headed by the av beit din (head of rabbinical court), Rav Yaakov Bibas. Over time, Rav Chaim became an accomplished Kabbalist and renowned for his ruach hakodesh (Divine Inspiration and insight). Rav Chaim was survived by his four distinguished sons, Rav Yehuda, Rav Yosef, Rav Yoshiyahu, and Rav Yaakov.

The Day of Atonement atones for a sin against God; but does not atone for a sin against another person until that person has been appeased.

Rabbi Eliezer son of Azariah explained, “It is written (Lev. 16:30), “From all your sins before God will you be cleansed [on the Day of Atonement].’ Meaning, the sin towards God, the Day of Atonement atones for; but sins toward man, the Day of Atonement cannot atone for till the neighbor has been appeased.

Yoma Chapter 8


31 August in History

In 1909, Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich began the first chemotherapy when with his assistant Sahachiro Hato, a rabbit infected with syphilis was injected with “Preparation 606.” This number marked the 606th chemical devised and tested by Ehrlich’s team at his Frankfort laboratory. The compound was so successful that the sores on the rabbit promptly healed. The term “chemotherapy” meaning therapy with chemicals, was coined by Erhlich.

21 Elul in History

Today (or tomorrow according to some) marks the passing of Rav Yaakov HaLevi ben Moshe Moellin (the Maharil). Born in Mainz, Germany, he was the primary disciple of Rav Shalom of Neustadt. The Maharil authored Minhagei Maharil, the primary source of Minhagei Ashkenaz, cited frequently by the Rema in Shulchan Aruch. The Maharil lived through the mass slaughter of Jews in Austria in 1420 and the Hussite wars in 1421, which brought suffering to the Jews of Bavaria and the Rhine.

For a person who thinks, “I will sin and the Day of Atonement will atone for my sins,” the Day of Atonement does not atone.

Yoma Chapter 8


30 August in History

In 1835, today marks the founding of Melbourne, Australia. The first synagogue opened in Melbourne in 1847. Melbourne provided the first native born Australian to serve as Governor-General – a lawyer named Isaac Isaacs. King George V was reportedly reluctant to appoint Isaacs to the post because he was Jewish. Prime Minister James Scullin assured the reluctant monarch that Australians took a more liberal view than most Englishmen did in such matters. They were not bothered by the matter of religion and therefore, the appointment was made without further complications

20 Elul in History

Today is the passing of Rav Eliyahu Lopian (1872-1970), author of Lev Eliyahu. He was the mashgiach (spiritual advisor) of Kelm; Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Etz Chaim in London, and mashgiach at Kfar Chassidim. R’ Shalom Schwadron (1911-1997) was one of his students.

After having dedicated 25 years of his life to Yeshivat Eitz Chaim, Reb Elyahu passed the leadership of the yeshivah over to Rav Greenspan.

Reb Elyahu moved to Israel in 1950, when he was 76 years old.

For a person who says, “I will sin, then repent, I will sin again, then repent again,” it is not within such a person’s reach to repent.

Yoma Chapter 8


29 August in History

Birthdate of English philosopher John Locke, 1632. Locke influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States. In 1689 he wrote his “Letter Concerning Toleration” in which he stated “Neither Pagan, nor Jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.” Locke was asked to right a constitution for the new colony of South Carolina. At the time, Christian merchants were complaining about the active involvement of Jews in the trade between South Carolina and the English Colony of Barbados. Locke saw the problem as bigotry, not “swarming Jewish merchants.” He inserted a line in the colonial charter that called for the protection of “Jews, heathens and other dissenters.”

19 Elul in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Moshe Zvi Aryeh Bick (1911-1990). Born in Medzbosz (Mezhbizh), Ukraine, but grew up in New York, he is recognized as one of the first great sages to be raised on American soil.

He studied under R’ Moshe Soloveitchik at the Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor and attended New York City public schools at night. At age 21, R’ Bick was hired by a shul in the Bronx. While there, he founded schools for both boys and girls. Later, he moved to Boro Park.

He was recognized as a master posek by both chassidic and non-chassidic communities, but never published his responsa.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 77 other followers

Jewish Almanac iPhone App

History of the Jewish Almanac

November 2020