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Friday, December 1, 2017

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In the first decades of the 5th century, Rav Ashi (d. 427) and Ravina I (d. 421) led a group of the Amoraim (Talmudic sages) in the massive undertaking of compiling the Babylonian Talmud -- collecting and editing the discussions, debates and rulings of hundreds of scholars and sages which had taken place in the more than 200 years since the compilation of the Mishnah by Rabbi Judah HaNassi in 189. The last of these editors and compilers was Ravina II, who passed away on the 13th of Kislev of the year 4235 from creation (475 CE); after Ravina II, no further additions were make to the Talmud, with the exception of the minimal editing undertaken by the Rabbanan Savura'i (476-560). This date thus marks the point at which the Talmud was "closed" and became the basis for all further exegesis of Torah law.

Daily Thought

With toil and persistence, asceticism and great sacrifice, a human being can enlighten his mind. He can reach so high as to perceive the world of the angels—or even to be granted the gift of prophecy.

But, as hard as any of us may try, as long as our brains are made of gray matter, we can never attain the enlightenment of the least of those fiery beings.

What amazes the angels, however, is this uncanny ability of a human being: To stick his head in the clouds and yet keep both feet on the ground. To traverse worlds.

Likutei Sichot vol. 15, pg. 15.