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Sunday, March 26, 2017

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In Talmudic times, Adar 28 used to be celebrated to commemorate the rescinding of a Roman decree against ritual circumcision, Torah study and keeping the Shabbat. The decree was revoked through the efforts of Rabbi Yehudah ben Shamua and his fellow rabbis. (Megillat Taanit, Rosh Hashanah 19a)

Ahmed Pasha was the governor of Egypt under Selim II "The Magnificent," the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Ahmed plotted to cede from the Ottoman Empire and declare himself Sultan of Egypt. He requested of his Jewish minter Abraham de Castro to mint new Egyptian currency stamped with his image. Instead, De Castro went to Constantinople, and informed Selim II of Ahmed’s plot.

Ahmed decided to exact revenge against Cairo's Jewish community. He imprisoned many of their leaders, and threatened to execute them unless he was paid an outrageously large ransom.

The Jews of Cairo fasted and prayed to G-d. A large sum of money was collected but it did not approach the amount of money Ahmed demanded. Before the planned executions, Ahmed visited his bathhouse. As he was leaving the bathhouse he was attacked and severely wounded by a group of his own advisors and governors. Ahmed escaped but was later captured and beheaded.

From then on, the Jews of Cairo observed the 28th of Adar as a day of celebration. A special megillah (scroll) written to commemorate the miracle was read in Cairo every year on this day.

Daily Thought

There are times when moving forward step by step is not enough.

There are times when you can’t just change what you do, how you speak and how you think about things.

Sometimes, you have to change who you are. You need to pick both feet off the ground and leap.

Sometimes, you need to change at your very core of being.

Public Letter for Passover, Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5736.