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Friday, 6 Nissan, 5781

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The town of Afula in Northern Israel was founded in this date in 1925. It is located on the presumed site of the tower ("Ophel") mentioned in the Biblical account of an Aramean general's visit to the Prophet Elisha (II Kings 5:24).

Afula's central location in the Jezreel Valley makes it the market center of the region; it is often referred to as "the Capital of the Valley."

Because of the town's proximity to Judea and Samaria, it has repeatedly been a target of terrorist attacks following the Oslo "peace process" and during the second Intifada.

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 Gad, Elyasaf ben De'uel, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

They translate it as “sacrifice” or “offering,” but the Hebrew word korban means none of these. Korban means to get close to G-d.

How does a warm-blooded creature built of meat and bones get close to G-d?

G-d is beyond heaven and earth. We are stuck firmly at the ground floor. A wild beast kicks and screams inside us, forever running us off the path of reason and throwing us back to the ground.

So the Torah says: Take that animal of yours. Make it your korban to G-d.

Work with that animal. Teach it. Tame it. Bring it to do good things—with its heart, its guts, with all its earthiness. Let it have even just a sip of Torah’s divine wisdom.

No aroma is more pleasing to G-d than such a korban, than a human beast roasted and spiced with the divine. With such a korban, all creatures of this world, as well as all the heavenly worlds rise yet higher, and as they rise, a burst of divine light is released into your world.

A light, says the Zohar, beyond any light even the highest of heavens could contain.

There is no greater closeness to G‑d than one small act of the divine performed by your beast inside.