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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On the morning of the 4th of Nissan, a civilian convoy of doctors and nurses traveling to the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus (see Today in Jewish History for 20 Iyar) was attacked by Arab forces. Of the ten vehicles in the caravan, five escaped. The other five vehicles, however, which included two buses and an ambulance, were riddled with machine gun fire and later set ablaze. Altogether 77 Jewish civilians were massacred on that day.

Shortly afterwards, the hospital was closed down and moved to the western part of Jerusalem.

The Mt. Scopus hospital only reopened after the eastern part of Jerusalem was liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Primarily staffed by Israeli doctors, it is the largest and best equipped hospital in the eastern section of Jerusalem.

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 Reuben, Elitzur ben Shedeur, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

Every year, our sages taught, with the cry of the shofar the entire universe is reborn.

And so, at that time, with our resolutions and our prayers, we hold an awesome power: To determine what sort of child this newborn year shall be—how it will take its first breaths, how it will struggle to its feet and how it will carry us through life for the twelve months to come.

In truth, it is not only once a year: At every new moon, in a smaller way, all life is renewed again.

And so too, every morning, we are all reborn from a nighttime taste of death.

And at every moment—in the smallest increment of time—every particle of the universe is projected into being out of absolute nothingness, as it was at the very beginning.

Which is why there is always hope. Because at every moment, life is born anew. And we are the masters of how this moment will be born.