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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

"One year, most of Adar went by and it didn't rain. They sent for Choni the Circle Maker. He prayed and the rains didn't come. He drew a circle, stood in it and said: 'Master of The World! Your children have turned to me; I swear in Your great name that I won't move from here until You have pity on Your children.' The rains came down." (Talmud, Taanit 23a)

Choni the Circle-Maker

Adar 20 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of Rabbi Yoel Sirkes (1560?-1640), Rabbi of Krakow and author of the Bayit Chadash ("Bach") commentary on the great Halachic work, the Arba'ah Turim.

R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach was a renowned halachic authority who lived in Jerusalem. Many of his rulings pertain to modern technological advances as they apply to Jewish life.

Link: Contemporary Halachah

Daily Thought

“And now, if You will forgive their sin, and if not, obliterate me from Your book that you have written.” (Exodus 32:32)

Moses’ plea can be read two ways. The simple reading is to add a single word: “If you will forgive their sin, good, and if not..”

But you can also read it as it is written:

Whether you forgive them or not, obliterate me.

Why? Why would Moses demand not only his physical death, but utter, eternal, spiritual obliteration? Moses, of all people, who certainly was fully cognizant of what this meant!

Certainly it was out of his love for his people. Because G‑d had told him, “Let me destroy them and I will make you into a great nation.”

At this, Moses shuddered with his entire being.

If not for him, G‑d could not destroy the Jewish people. After all, G‑d had promised their forefathers that their descendants would become a great nation.

If so, it was his existence that made possible the destruction of his own people.

Repulsed and horrified, Moses exclaimed, “Such a creature I cannot be! Please! Obliterate me as though I never was!” This is a Jewish leader. There cannot be anything of him that is not love for his people.

Hitvaduyot 5749, vol. 2, pg. 383. Sefer Hasichot 5749, vol. 1, pg 299. The Rebbe cited this reading from his father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Yekitranislav.