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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In the year 2448 from Creation (1313 BCE), Tammuz 16 was the 40th day following the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and the people of Israel wrongly expected Moses' return from the mountain (he would actually return on the following day). When their leader failed to return, they demanded from Aaron: "Make us a god that shall go before us". Hur (Moses' nephew, the son of Miriam and Caleb) tried to stop them and was killed by the mob. Aaron fashioned a calf of molten gold.

Links:
The Making of the Golden Calf (text of Exodus 32 with Rashi's commentary)
An anthology of Midrashim and Commentaries on the making of the Calf
The Day Before (on the deeper significance of Tammuz 16, from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe)
More on the Golden calf
See also "Today in Jewish History" for tomorrow, Tammuz 17.

Daily Thought

G‑d is always with the oppressed. Even if the oppressor is righteous and the oppressed is wicked, our sages tell us, G‑d is with the oppressed. (Lev. Rabba 27:7)

Visit the prisoners and bring them some happiness. Even if they are guilty; even if, in your eyes, they deserve whatever misery they have. Sit with them, as one of them. Treat them with respect. Bring them joy, and you will find joy there with them.

In that uplifted spirit you will bring them, they will feel human again. They will begin to feel that, if they will only so desire, they could live as a human being was meant to live, in the image of their Maker.

And then there will no longer be any need for the walls of this prison.

Purim 5736:4