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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Two days before the conclusion of the thirty-day mourning period following the passing of Moses on Adar 7 (see Jewish History for the 7th of Nissan), Joshua dispatched two scouts--Caleb and Pinchas--across the Jordan River to Jericho, to gather intelligence in preparation of the Israelites' battle with the first city in their conquest of the Holy Land. In Jericho, they were assisted and hidden by Rahab, a woman who lived inside the city walls. (Rahab later married Joshua).

The Two Spies

R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel was one of the leading Rebbes of his day, serving as rabbi and spiritual leader first in Apta (presently called Opatow), then in Iasi, and finally in Mezhibuzh. He was known for his great love of his fellow Jews, and is commonly known as “the Ohev Yisroel [lover of Jews] of Apta.”

Link: Special Powers

Laws and Customs

In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi of the tribe of Shimon, Shlumiel ben Tzurishadai, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

One day, we will see the world not with our egos but with our souls.

Not a world as it serves us, as it threatens us, as it gives to us, as it takes from us, as it offers pleasure, as it inflicts pain, as we like it, as we don’t like it…

But the world as it truly is, magnificent and beautiful in its endless diversity and mystery.

Only then will we fathom to what extent our own egos have blinded us. How we were fooled and robbed of the pleasure of true life.

As though our eyes have opened for the very first time and discovered that what we thought was life was but a dream.

So that our hearts will once and for all throb as human hearts, every bone in our bodies will resonate, every cell will glow, even down to the calloused skin of our heels, as we burst out:

“Oh my G-d! There’s no end to the magnificence of Your creations! And every single one You’ve crafted with infinite, divine wisdom!”

And we will be free.