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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On February 4, 1657, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, issued the first residence permit to a Jew, Luis Carvajal, since the expulsion of all Jews from England by King Edward I in the year 1290. The edict of expulsion had been officially overturned in the previous year, 1656. The re-admittance of Jews into England was partially due to the efforts of the great scholar Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel.

Link: Menasseh Ben Israel

Rabbi Moshe Galante II was born in Safed in 1620 and later moved to Jerusalem where he founded a large yeshivah. He was a grandson of the famed Rabbi Moshe Galante I, who was a student of Rabbi Yosef Karo.

Rabbi Galante was the first rabbi endowed with the title Rishon l'Tzion ("the First of Zion"), a title traditionally conferred upon the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Jerusalem and later of the Land of Israel. This due to the profound love and esteem he was given by the Sephardic community in Jerusalem.

He authored a number of works including Elef HaMagen, which includes 1,000 responsa on various topics; Parpara'ot l'Chochmah, a commentary on the Bible; and Zevach HaShelamim on the Talmud.

Counted among his students was Rabbi Chizkiyah De Silva, rabbi of Hebron and author of the Pri Chadash (printed in the standard edition of the Code of Jewish Law).

Link: The “Holy Ari” Reads a Forehead

Daily Thought

“Israel camped there by the mountain.” Exodus 19:2.

Rashi, the wise teacher who teaches Torah to every Jew, hides deep treasures in his simple commentary.

When Pharaoh and his entire army came chasing after us, the Torah writes only that “Pharaoh approached.” So Rashi explains that they came with one heart, as though they were a single person.

First the heart, then the person. Their hearts were driven by the same greed, so they acted as a single person.

When we camped before Mount Sinai, the Torah refers to the entire nation in the singular—unlike all other encampments. So Rashi explains that we camped there like one person, with one heart.

First the person, then the heart.

We are truly a single being. And when our hearts are prepared to receive Torah, we act that way as well.

Likutei Sichot vol. 21, Yitro 1.