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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), passed away on the eve of the 24th of Tevet, 5573, at approximately 10:30 pm, shortly after reciting the Havdalah prayer marking the end of the Shabbat. The Rebbe was in the village of Peyena, fleeing Napoleon's armies, which had swept through the Rebbe's hometown of Liadi three months earlier in their advance towards Moscow. He was in his 68th year at the time of his passing, and was succeeded by his son, Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch.

Link: The Life and Teachings of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

A devastating earthquake struck northern Israel, killing four thousand Jews in Safed and between 700 to 1000 Jews in Tiberias. Many of the survivors migrated to Hebron, rejuvenating the developing Chabad community established there 10 years earlier by the second Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch.

One of the first hospitals in America under Jewish direction, Mount Sinai Hospital, was founded in New York on this date in 1852.

Daily Thought

When G-d asked Abraham to take his son, his only son, the son he loves, Isaac, and raise him for an offering upon a mountain, G-d said, “please.”

He said, “Please stand for me in this test, so they will not say, ‘The other tests were of no substance.’”

The other tests included being thrown in a fiery furnace for not worshipping Nimrod.

Not complaining when he had to leave the land promised him so as not to starve.

Not flinching with fear when he ran to save his nephew from the powerful armies that had captured him.

Not wavering from his faith when he had been promised many children and not a single one had been born.

And all this would be unsubstantial if he would fail this one test?

Yes. Because all these tests only demonstrated that Abraham was a man with a cause.

It could have been that his stalwartness had less to do with G-d and truth than it had to do with his own self-identity and iron will to stick to his cause.

Until a challenge came that would not promote his cause, not affirm his identity, not contribute to his future, or any future. Something that could only burn down everything he had ever built. 

But it was truth.

When Abraham fulfilled that impossible act, G-d said, “Don’t do anything to the lad. Because now everyone will know that all you do is real.” 

Likutei Sichot vol. 20, pg. 73ff.