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Monday, March 8, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On Adar 24, Czar Alexander I of Russia declared the Blood Libel -- the infamous accusation that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood in the baking of matzah for Passover, for which thousands of Jews were massacred through the centuries -- to be false. Nevertheless, nearly a hundred years later the accusation was officially leveled against Mendel Beilis in Kiev.

Link: A detailed look at the Beilis case, including primary evidence, photographs, interviews and a documentary.

Daily Thought

“Why was the human being created as an individual? To teach you that one who destroys a single human life is as though he has destroyed an entire world. And one who saves a single human life is as though he has saved an entire world.”
—Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.

Simple arithmetic does not apply when dealing with human lives. Each individual equals an entire world.

The Talmud provides a practical application:

A caravan traveling on the road is accosted by strangers who tell them, “Give us one of you and we will kill him, and if you refuse, we will kill all of you.”

Ignoring the math, the Talmud rules: Even if all of them will be killed, they must not hand over a single soul.

Why? Because each human life contains at its core the very essence of G‑d. As G‑d is infinite, so the value of a human life.

And one infinity is not any less than a hundred, a thousand, or even eight billion infinities.

Reshimot 123. For further elucidation, see How Each of Us Contains All of Us.