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Friday, November 23, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Judah the Prince -- also known as Rabbeinu Hakadosh ("our holy master"), or simply as "Rabbi" -- was elected nasi -- spiritual and civil head of the Jewish community at large -- after the death of his father, Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel. Foreseeing that due to the tribulations of the Exile which the Jewish nation was about to endure it was likely that many of the sacred laws would be forgotten, Rabbi Judah decided to gather, record, edit, and organize the statements of the earlier sages, setting the Oral Law down in writing for very the first time, in the form of the Mishnah.

He passed away around 188 CE; some say it was around 219 CE.

Although he was extremely wealthy and on friendly terms with the Emperor Antoninus, in his dying hour he lifted both his hands to Heaven, swearing that he had not benefited from his wealth even with his little finger. Instead he had labored in the study of Torah with all his strength.

On the day that Rabbi Judah died, a heavenly voice went forth and announced: Whosoever has been present at the death of Rabbi is destined to enjoy the life of the World to Come.

The Talmud (Ketubot 103a) relates that even after his passing, for a time, Rabbi Judah would still visit his home every Friday evening at dusk. Wearing Shabbat clothes, he would recite the Kiddush, and thereby discharge his family members from their obligation to hear Kiddush.

Link: Rabbi Judah the Prince
The Compilation of the Mishnah

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.