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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Kislev 12 is the yahrtzeit (date of the passing) of Chabad.org's founding director, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Kazen ("YYK," 1954-1998), widely acclaimed as the "father of the Jewish internet."

Links:
Tribute Section to YY Kazen
About YY Kazen
The Soul of Cyberspace

R. Shlomo Luria, known by his acronym Maharshal, was an eminent scholar in sixteenth-century Poland. He headed a yeshiva in Brisk and Lublin and wrote many works, including Yam Shel Shlomo and Chachmas Shlomo. An independent thinker, he did not hesitate to criticize his colleagues when he felt they had erred in their method of Talmudic study and halachic analysis. At the same time, he was an extremely humble person and was the teacher of many great Torah scholars of his generation.

It is related that one night, R. Shlomo sat down to study to the light of a small candle. Miraculously, the candle did not extinguish, allowing R. Shlomo to continue his studies for many hours (Shem Hagedolim).

Link: Rabbi Shlomo Luria

Daily Thought

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai hid from the Romans in a cave for thirteen years. There he was visited by heavenly beings, by Elijah the prophet and even by Moses. It was there that he composed the holy Zohar.

When he left the cave and came to a town, he did not say, “Let me enlighten you with the inner light of Torah, the light that has been hidden since the six days of creation.”

He said, “What is there in your town that I can fix?”

Whatever knowledge a human being is given in this world, whatever wisdom, enlightenment or inspiration, it is all only and exclusively for one purpose: To assist him to fix up this world.

Likkutei Sichot, volume 32, page 152, based on Talmud, Shabbat 33b.