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Shabbat, March 11, 2023

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

When Governor of Georgia James Jackson resigned his post to serve as a US senator, the president of the Georgia Senate, David Emanuel, who was said to be Jewish, was sworn in as governor. If he was indeed Jewish, March 3, 1801, was the first time that a Jewish person served as governor of a US state.

Emanuel served the remaining eight months of Jackson's term, but did not seek re-election, opting instead to retire from politics. In 1812, Georgia named a new county in his honor: "Emanuel County."

The inaugural edition of "The Jew," the first Jewish periodical in the United States, was published in March of 1823. It was published in New York City and edited by Solomon H. Jackson.

The subtitle of the paper was “Being a defence of Judaism against all adversaries, and particularly against the insidious attacks of Israel's Advocate.” Its major aim was to combat missionaries, and specifically "Israel's Advocate," a Christian conversionist periodical published at the same time.

The periodical was issued until March 1825.

The Jews of Sana’a, Yemen, were saved from a decree plotted against them by the king’s anti-Semitic ministers, in which they were accused of killing the grand prince. Yemenite Jewry celebrated this day each year with feasting and rejoicing.

Link: Purim Yemen

Laws and Customs

The Torah reading of Parah (Numbers 19) is added to the weekly reading. Parah details the laws of the "Red Heifer" and the process by which a person rendered ritually impure by contact with a dead body was purified.

(When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, every Jew had to be in a state of ritual purity in time for the bringing of the Passover offering in the Temple. Today, though we're unable to fulfill the Temple-related rituals in practice, we fulfill them spiritually by studying their laws in the Torah. Thus, we study and read the section of Parah in preparation for the upcoming festival of Passover.)

Links: The Parah reading with commentary
The Calf's Mother

Daily Thought

How long will you people keep walking on two sides of the fence? If G‑d is G‑d, follow Him. And if the Baal is G‑d, follow him! (Elijah in Kings I 18:21)

This is shocking. How could Elijah even suggest to the people such an option, that people should abandon the true G‑d altogether and worship exclusively the false god?

Isn’t it better they should have even some truth in their lives, even if the rest is a lie?

But no. It may be a worse sin to commit entirely to a false god, but there is far more hope for such a person than for one who tries to walk on both sides of the fence.

Someone walking both sides of the fence shows that he’s not interested in the truth. If truth doesn’t matter, what will it help to show him truth?

Not so someone who is committed entirely to what he believes to be true. Once shown his error, he might now turn his life around and be yet more committed to the one true G‑d.

Likutei Sichot vol 1, pg 183.