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Shabbat, December 1, 2012

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On this day, Ezra the Scribe went up to the Holy Temple and fasted, prayed, and cried in public. While he prayed and confessed, weeping and prostrating himself in front of the Temple, a large assemblage of men, women, and children gathered around him.

At that time, all of the assembled priests and Israelites swore to send away their non-Jewish wives. Ezra then issued a proclamation that all Jews residing in Israel should assemble in three days' time in Jerusalem (see Today in Jewish History for the 20th of Kislev).

Links: Ezra - Chapter 9; Ezra - Chapter 10.

Daily Thought

From a talk in 1991:

The fall of the communist dictatorships of the Eastern Bloc was a kind of miracle that has no historical precedent. Never before were so many people affected by such radical change with so little violence.

The miracles of the Gulf War were open miracles. The same Scud missiles that took countless lives in Iran were impotent when they struck their targets in Israel. The soldiers and officers of the allied forces saw inexplicable miracles in their victory.

Other miracles took some thought to realize that they were miracles, that the laws of nature were not the only thing at play here. But anyone who saw what occurred in the Gulf War saw openly that this was miraculous.

And yet people ask, “Where are the miracles today?”