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Tuesday, 17 Tevet, 5780

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In 1684, a group of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled the Inquisition (see "Today in Jewish History" for Tevet 22) held a Rosh Hashanah service in New Amsterdam, thereby founding congregation Shearith Israel ("Remnant of Israel"). On this 17th of Tevet in 1728, the congregation purchased a lot in Lower Manhattan to erect the first synagogue in New York.

Rabbi Aaron Zelig ben Joel Feivush of Ostrog, Russia, author of Toldot Aaron, passed away on Tevet 17 of the year in 5515 from creation (1754).

Tevet 17 is also the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Wolf Krantz (1740-1804), the Maggid (preacher) of Dubna, particularly known for the parables (meshalim) he employed in his sermons and writings.

Daily Thought

There is an urge within us, at once both imbecilic and ingenious.

Imbecilic, because it will not look beyond its mudhole and move on.

Ingenious, because to defend its muddy fortress it will summon circumstance, DNA, unfit parents, incompetent teachers, society, evolution, creation, low self-esteem—a myriad of excuses to avoid making one step ahead.

Every excuse but the real one: its instinctive obstinacy to remain in the mudhole it knows so well.