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Monday, December 17, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Ezra, who led the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel after the Babylonian exile (423-353 BCE), oversaw the building of the Second Temple, canonized the 24 books of the Holy Scriptures ("bible") and, as head of the "Great Assembly" legislated a series of laws and practices (including formalized prayer) which left a strong imprint on Judaism to this very day, passed away on the 9th of Tevet of the year 3448 from creation (313 BCE -- exactly 1000 years after the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai). The passing of Ezra marked the end of the "Era of Prophecy".


Learn more about Ezra
Men of the Great Assembly

Alfred Dreyfus, a captain in the French Army, was falsely accused of treason, largely on account of his Jewish identity. On this date, he was formally stripped from his rank, following which he was deported to Devil’s Island, where he languished for over four years. The case and its aftermath, known as the Dreyfus Affair, served as a poignant reminder that despite modern promises of equality and progress, anti-Semitism was still prevalent and Jews were unable to fully integrate into European society.

Link: A Lesson from Grandpa Laban

After being found guilty of crimes against humanity, the evil Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was put to death. Hussein was responsible for the Kuwait invasion that sparked the First Gulf War, and subsequently launched tens of SCUD missiles against Israel.

Link: Purim Saddam

Daily Thought

Afterlife is a very rational, natural consequence of the order of things.
After all, nothing is ever lost—even the body only transforms into earth. But nothing is lost.

So too, the person you are is never lost. That person—that soul—only returns to its origin.

If your soul became acutely attached to the material world during its stay here, then it must painfully rip itself away to make the journey back.

But if it was only a traveler, connected to its source all along, then its ride home is heavenly.