Get the best of Chabad.org content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!
ב"ה
To view Shabbat Times click here to set your location

Monday, February 1, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
To view Halachic Times click here to set your location
Jewish History

With the Black Death raging throughout Switzerland, poison was reported to have been found in the wells at Zofingen. Some Jews were put to the "Dümeln" (thumbscrews) test, whereupon they "admitted" their guilt of the charges brought against them. This discovery was then communicated to the people of Basel, Zurich, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, and even Cologne.

The Jews of Basel were burned on an island in the Rhine on January 9, 1349, in wooden huts that were especially built for the occasion. Their children, who were spared, were taken and forcibly baptized.

On his way back from participating in a brit milah ceremony in Bohuslav (in what is now Ukraine), R. Aryeh Leib, known as the “Grandfather of Shpoli” was crossing over the frozen Ros River when the ice suddenly broke beneath his feet. Miraculously he was saved, and to this day his descendants mark this date with a joyous feast (Ish Hapelleh, pp. 299–301).

Link: The Story of the Baby Who Was a Grandfather

Daniel Pearl, an American-born Jewish reporter for The Wall Street Journal was kidnapped by terrorists in Karachi by a militant group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty, which claimed that Pearl was a spy.

Nine days later, on Shevat 19 (Feb 1), Pearl was beheaded on videotape. The gruesome tape has Pearl stating that, “… My father's Jewish, my mother's Jewish, I'm Jewish. …”

Daily Thought

Moses judged all the people, from morning to night.

His father-in-law, Jethro, disapproved.

Jethro saw that as the people stood in awe before Moses, they were elevated. All conflict fell away. All sores were healed. They found peace and all was resolved.

But what if there were no Moses? Jethro understood that for peace to endure, the people had to find justice and peace on their own.

And so Moses appointed judges from among the people, so that the people would learn to settle their own accounts.

In truth, all peace and all healing comes from Above. But to endure, it must work its way out from within.

Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, Yitro 2.