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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In 1658, fifteen Jewish families emigrated from South America to (what was to become) the United States. These families were of Sephardic lineage and settled together in Newport, Rhode Island, where they established a Jewish congregation. For many years they held weekly prayer services in private homes.

When the need arose for a Jewish cemetery, the community purchased a piece of land on Wednesday, February 28, 1677.

This was the very first piece of land in the colonies which was owned by a Jewish congregation. In this cemetery are buried many of the early members of this congregation, and it is still maintained by the Jewish community.

For more about the Newport Jewish community, see entry for the 8th of Elul.

Links:
The History of Jewish Newport, Rhode Island
Judah Touro: Philanthropist Par Excellence

Viewing the dire lack of formal Jewish education provided to Jewish girls in her native Poland, Sarah Schenirer founded the first Bais Yaakov girls’ school in Krakow in 1917. Despite some initial opposition, the Bais Yaakov school network quickly expanded throughout Poland and beyond. Today, there are hundreds of Bais Yaakov schools worldwide, attended by tens of thousands of students.

Links: The Importance of Jewish Education for Girls; The Woman in Lubavitch

Daily Thought

Shabbat is a day of rest. And that, conceptually, is an oxymoron.

Because a day is a period of time, and time is activity. And rest means a cessation of activity. In other words, a cessation of time.

But this is Shabbat: A day in which our temporal world joins with a world beyond time.

So that we can taste the transcendental, the forever mysterious and divine, within the food on our plate, the wine in our cups, and the song on our lips.

On Shabbat, we taste of a world to come. Because when this temporary world is done, we will enter a “day that is entirely Shabbat and rest for eternal life.”

A time beyond time. Live it now.