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Sunday, January 29, 2017

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish 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.

Shevat 2 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of Chassidic Master Rabbi Meshulam Zusha of Anipoli (1718?-1800), a disciple of the 2nd leader of the Chassidic movement, Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch.

Despite Rabbi Zusha's erudition and great piety, he was distinguished by his self-effacement and simple ways. A characteristic saying of his goes: "If it were offered to me to exchange places with Abraham our Father, I would refuse. What would G-d gain from this? He'd still have one Zusha and one Abraham..." His colleagues said of him that he was literally incapable of seeing anything negative in a fellow Jew.

Links: More about Rabbi Zusha

Daily Thought

Sometimes you might connect with someone who has a severe moral challenge in life. And you can’t see how this person can possibly overcome this challenge.

But then, you have your own challenges. And you also can’t see how you can possibly overcome these challenges.

Because each person has their own battle to fight, unique from any other.

So what should you do?

You fight those battles that you can win—including those the other guy can’t handle. The other guy will fight those battles that he can win—including those that you can’t handle. Eventually, both of you will find that those impossible battles have somehow become possible.

We are, after all, a single being, all of humanity.

Maamar Amar Rabbi Oshaya, 19 Kislev 5739.