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Sunday, 21 Shevat, 5782

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On February 4, 1657, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, issued the first residence permit to a Jew, Luis Carvajal, since the expulsion of all Jews from England by King Edward I in the year 1290. The edict of expulsion had been officially overturned in the previous year, 1656. The re-admittance of Jews into England was partially due to the efforts of the great scholar Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel.

Link: Menasseh Ben Israel

Rabbi Moshe Galante II was born in Safed in 1620 and later moved to Jerusalem where he founded a large yeshivah. He was a grandson of the famed Rabbi Moshe Galante I, who was a student of Rabbi Yosef Karo.

Rabbi Galante was the first rabbi endowed with the title Rishon l'Tzion ("the First of Zion"), a title traditionally conferred upon the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Jerusalem and later of the Land of Israel. This due to the profound love and esteem he was given by the Sephardic community in Jerusalem.

He authored a number of works including Elef HaMagen, which includes 1,000 responsa on various topics; Parpara'ot l'Chochmah, a commentary on the Bible; and Zevach HaShelamim on the Talmud.

Counted among his students was Rabbi Chizkiyah De Silva, rabbi of Hebron and author of the Pri Chadash (printed in the standard edition of the Code of Jewish Law).

Link: The “Holy Ari” Reads a Forehead

Daily Thought

Before Sinai, there was earth and there was heaven. If you wanted one, you abandoned the other.

At Sinai, the boundaries of heaven and earth were breached and the human being was empowered to fuse the two: To raise the earthly into the realm of the spirit, and to bring heaven down to earth.

Before Mount Sinai, the coarse material of which the world is made could not be elevated. It could be used as a medium, an aid in achieving enlightenment, but it itself could not be enlightened. The spirit was raised, but the earth remained dark.

At Sinai we were empowered to take physical objects and transform them into spiritual artifacts.

Our forefathers’ task was to enlighten the souls. Ours is to transform the darkness of a material world into light.