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Friday, August 10, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On this date, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, who supported and aided the Czar's army during the Napoleonic wars, was forced to flee his hometown from Napoleon's forces which were advancing through White Russia in their push toward Moscow. After five months of wanderings he arrived in the town of Pyena. There he fell ill and, weakened by the tribulations of his flight and the harsh Russian winter, passed away on the 24th of Tevet, 5573 (1812).

Links: The Rebbe vs Napoleon

R. Yehoshua was one of the leading Polish scholars of his day, and was held in great reverence by his contemporaries. He led a Talmudic academy in Cracow which attracted many noteworthy disciples (such as R. Shabtai HaKohen, the Shach).

R. Yehoshua authored Maginei Shlomo, devoted to answering the difficulties raised by the Tosafist scholars against Rashi in his Talmud commentary. He also authored a collection of halachic responsa titled Pnei Yehoshua (not to be confused with the Talmudic commentary of the same name authored by his great-grandson, R. Yaakov Yehoshua [see entry for 14 Shevat]).

Daily Thought

There are three ways to bring unity between two opposites:

The first is by introducing a power that transcends them both, and to which they both utterly surrender their entire being.
They are then at peace with each other because they are both under the influence of the same force.

But they themselves are not at peace—their own being is simply ignored.

The second way is by finding a middle ground where the two meet. The two are at peace where they meet on that middle ground
—but the rest of their territory remains apart and distant.

The third way is to reach deeper, into the very essence of the two beings, and discover that at this point, in every aspect, they are no more than two expressions of the same one G-d.