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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Moses passed away on the 7th of Adar. Following G-d's instruction that Joshua should succeed him and lead the Jewish nation into the Land of Israel, Moses transferred leadership duties to Joshua on the day before he passed away. Thus the fifth day of Adar was the last day of Moses' leadership.

Link: Moses' Passing

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 5624 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

True happiness is the highest form of self-sacrifice.
There, in that state, there is no sense of self
—not even awareness that you are happy.

True happiness is somewhere beyond “knowing.”
Beyond self.

All the more so when you bring joy to others.

Likutei Sichot vol. 16, pp. 365–372.