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Friday, January 18, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On January 18, 1943, the Germans began their second deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, which led to the first instance of armed resistance. The deportation was halted within a few days; only 5,000 Jews were removed instead of 8,000 as planned. The Nazis retreated, only to return three months later, at which time the Warsaw uprising started in earnest.

Link: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

R. Chaim Kapusi was one of the leading sages of Egypt in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. He passed away at the age of ninety, on 12 Shevat in the year 5391 from Creation (1631).

It is related that R. Chaim once became blind, and the townsfolk spread rumors attributing his condition to bribery, as the verse states, “Bribery blinds the eyes of the wise.” Hearing this, R. Chaim got up before the entire congregation and announced: “If it is true that I have accepted bribery, may my eyes retain their sightlessness. But if it is not true, may my vision be restored!” Miraculously, his vision returned immediately, and he proceeded to identify the congregants by name (Shem Hagedolim).

Link: Don’t Get Bribed!

Daily Thought

There is a beast inside. It awaits you for its tikkun.

How do you fix up the human beast? First with prayer, then with food, but ultimately by doing business.

You need to start with meditation and prayer, because that beast inside needs to experience not only wonder, but even love for G‑d. The problem is, in prayer and meditation you have not yet met that beast on its own ground.

Next, eat your breakfast like a human being is meant to eat—a step higher than the food you consume, raising it up rather than letting it pull you down. Then, yes, you have met your human beast on its own ground. But not on its own terms. You are still fighting with it—against its desire to be pulled down into the food.

So then go out into the world and provide goods and services of value, and do that with integrity.

No longer are you fighting against the human beast. You are working with it and from within it, with all the talents and skills you have. Because otherwise, you are not providing the value for which others are paying, and that is not integrity.

Now you can understand why the very first question asked of the soul when it returns from its mission in this world is not “How did you pray?” or “How did you eat?” but “Did you do business with integrity?” For that is when you truly fixed up this world.

Padah B’Shalom 5739.