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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

R. Shmuel Abba Schapiro and his brother R. Pinchas managed the famed printing press of Slavuta, in what is now Ukraine. In 1835, they were falsely accused of arranging the murder of one of their workers (who had committed suicide). As a result, the government ordered the closing of all Russian Jewish printing presses (save for one press in Vilnius), and the brothers were incarcerated and flogged.

The brothers’ tremendous piety and fear of Heaven followed them to their cells. It is related that while walking through the two rows of soldiers who were administering the flogging, R. Shmuel Abba’s kippah (skullcap) fell off of his head, and he refused to proceed until it was returned, although he received additional blows as a result.

A miniature Torah scroll was smuggled into their cell during their incarceration to enable the brothers to study. This unique scroll later gifted to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who would dance with it every year on Simchat Torah.

R. Shmuel Abba passed away on 5 Adar in the year 5724 from Creation (1864). Books printed in the Slavuta press remain prized collectors’ items to this day.

Links: My Son’s Badge of Honor; Eight Torah Scrolls as Amazing and Diverse as the Jewish People

Daily Thought

Each journey the soul travels takes her higher.

Some journeys are painful, but with purpose. The purpose overwhelms the pain and transforms it into joy.

Some journeys are painful, but with no purpose in sight. There is no medicine to wash away the pain.

There is no medicine, other than the faith that every journey the soul travels takes her higher. Some so much higher, she cannot even imagine their meaning. Until she arrives.

Likutei Sichot, vol. 14, pg. 325. Vayishlach 5714:2-6. Shmot 5719:3-4.