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ב"ה
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Friday, November 19, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Judah the Prince -- also known as Rabbeinu Hakadosh ("our holy master"), or simply as "Rabbi" -- was elected nasi -- spiritual and civil head of the Jewish community at large -- after the death of his father, Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel. Foreseeing that due to the tribulations of the Exile which the Jewish nation was about to endure it was likely that many of the sacred laws would be forgotten, Rabbi Judah decided to gather, record, edit, and organize the statements of the earlier sages, setting the Oral Law down in writing for very the first time, in the form of the Mishnah.

He passed away around 188 CE; some say it was around 219 CE.

Although he was extremely wealthy and on friendly terms with the Emperor Antoninus, in his dying hour he lifted both his hands to Heaven, swearing that he had not benefited from his wealth even with his little finger. Instead he had labored in the study of Torah with all his strength.

On the day that Rabbi Judah died, a heavenly voice went forth and announced: Whosoever has been present at the death of Rabbi is destined to enjoy the life of the World to Come.

The Talmud (Ketubot 103a) relates that even after his passing, for a time, Rabbi Judah would still visit his home every Friday evening at dusk. Wearing Shabbat clothes, he would recite the Kiddush, and thereby discharge his family members from their obligation to hear Kiddush.

Link: Rabbi Judah the Prince
The Compilation of the Mishnah

Daily Thought

How to unmask a blessing in disguise:

Stare it in the face and say, “I know you are not just a lousy day or bad luck. I know you are a good friend—even if for the life of me I cannot determine how. I know there is only one Source of All Things, and nothing can convince me that evil descends from Above. Evil descends from the constraints of my perception. You are no more than a blessing in disguise.”

This blessing, if truly a great one, will not surrender its cover easily. You will need a composure that demonstrates you meant every word you said. You will need to hold your ground like a mountain against the sea. You will need to surprise yourself with your own resolve.

And then you can turn over a world. A world that once distorted every blessing that squeezed through its gates will now open those gates wide. And the blessings that have already entered will sigh a breath of relief as one by one they discard their scary costumes.