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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Two days before the conclusion of the thirty-day mourning period following the passing of Moses on Adar 7 (see Jewish History for the 7th of Nissan), Joshua dispatched two scouts--Caleb and Pinchas--across the Jordan River to Jericho, to gather intelligence in preparation of the Israelites' battle with the first city in their conquest of the Holy Land. In Jericho, they were assisted and hidden by Rahab, a woman who lived inside the city walls. (Rahab later married Joshua).

Link:
The Two Spies

R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel was one of the leading Rebbes of his day, serving as rabbi and spiritual leader first in Apta (presently called Opatow), then in Iasi, and finally in Mezhibuzh. He was known for his great love of his fellow Jews, and is commonly known as “the Ohev Yisroel [lover of Jews] of Apta.”

Link: Special Powers

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 Shimon, Shlumiel ben Tzurishadai, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

When Jewish people conclude a satisfying meal that includes bread, they say four blessings.

Why?

Because the Torah says, “When you eat and you’re satisfied, you should bless G‑d for the land He has given you.”

The last three blessings were composed in the Promised Land. But the first blessing was composed by Moses when manna appeared from heaven.

Now isn’t it strange that we say a blessing for bread from heaven after eating bread that comes from the earth?

Really, the blessing is not on the food itself. It’s on our satiation from the food.

That makes things yet more puzzling. Manna was a food that never left you satisfied—for two reasons: Because you could not see what you were eating, and because you couldn’t save any of it for the next day.

Why do we say a blessing composed for a food that left people unsatisfied to thank G‑d for a satisfying meal?

Because, as the rabbis say, “A full jar cannot hold anything. But an empty jar can hold everything.”

Those who see their income as a tangible asset, acquired and preserved by natural means, their possessions fill their lives so that they cannot see G‑d’s blessing.

But those who know that everything is always in G‑d’s hands, like manna from heaven, they are empty and ready to receive.

Whatever they have, they see it as a gift, a blessing, and they celebrate.

Torat Menachem Sefer Hamaamarim Melukat, vol. 4, pg. 186.