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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The grand 180-day feast hosted by King Achashverosh came to an end on this day.

Achasverosh miscalculated the start date of Jeremiah's prophecy which promised the rebuilding of the Holy Temple after 70 years of Babylonian exile. When, according to his calculations, the seventy years had passed and the Jews were not redeemed, he orchestrated this grand party to celebrate the "demise" of the Chosen Nation. During the course of the party he brazenly displayed many of the vessels looted from the Holy Temple by the Babylonian armies.

Links:
Esther 1 (For a vivid description of the feast.)
The Royal Feast

Laws and Customs

In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi of the tribe of Menasseh, Gamliel ben Pedahtzur, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

At the base of our Torah and our Jewish psyche lies an incessant urgency. Not just a sense that things are not the way they should be, but a relentless yearning that things should heal this very moment.

Relentless, because it refuses to decay with time or to fade with disappointment. In the morning, we make our plea as though unable to tolerate another moment. And as evening comes, we demand again as though morning never passed.

We live on the verge of eternity. May we arrive now.