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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Following the Jewish nation's crossing of the Jordan into the land of Canaan (see entry for "Nissan 10"), and in preparation for the bringing of the Passover Offering, all the men were circumcised under the guidance of Joshua.

Due to the weather conditions in the desert which were not conducive for the healing of wounds, throughout the forty year desert sojourn only the Tribe of Levi circumcised their sons.

Links:
Brit Milah; Circumcision
Joshua ch. 5

11 Nissan marks the passing of Nachmanides ("Ramban", Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, 1194-1270) -- Torah scholar, Kabbalist, philosopher, physician and Jewish leader -- in 1270.

Rabbi Isaiah Halevi Horowitz was a noted kabbalist, famous as the "Sheloh Hakodosh" (the saintly Sheloh) the acronym of his magnum opus, Shnei Luchot Habrit.

He held Rabbinical positions in various communities in Europe, before emigrating to Israel. He passed away in Tiberius at the age of 70.

Link: Rabbi Isaiah Halevi Horowitz

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, was born on this date in 1902.

Links:
TheRebbe.org
A Timeline biography
54 Years, 54 Ideas
Contemporary Chassidic Stories of the Rebbe
More on the Rebbe

To emphasize the vital role of education in society, the United States annually marks "Education and Sharing Day U.S.A."

Established in 1978 by a joint Congressional resolution, Education Day U.S.A. focuses on the very foundation of meaningful education: instructing our youth in the ways of morality and ethics, and teaching them an appreciation for divine inviolable values.

The Presidents designate annually Education and Sharing Day U.S.A. on the anniversary of the birth of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, who dedicated his life to the cause of education.

Links:
Education and Sharing Day U.S.A Homepage
A blueprint for meaningful education
The Rebbe's talks on the importance of education
A brief history
Yearly commemoration of "Education and Sharing Day U.S.A."

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 Asher, Pagiel ben Achran, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

Joseph had spent an entire year in prison when one morning he noticed that two Egyptian prisoners seemed more unhappy than usual.

So he asked them what was wrong. And out of that question, years later, emerged not only his own release from prison, but the rescue of all Egypt, indeed all the known world, from a famine of seven years.

Everything Joseph did defied human nature.

These were, after all, former officials of the royal court. It was just such an Egyptian official who had thrown him in the dungeon to begin with. It’s only human to harbor prejudice against the ilk of those who have caused you harm.

And why shouldn’t they be miserable? They’re in a dungeon, where hope dims every day as the ugly claws of despair suffocate the human spirit.

Indeed, by human nature, Joseph more than anyone else should have long ago succumbed to bitter apathy, as a helpless victim of a cruel and unjust world.

He was imprisoned despite his excellent service only because he stuck to his principles in the face of overwhelming temptation. And before that, he had been sold by his own brothers as a slave as a direct result of faithfully carrying out his father’s request.

Yet when Joseph saw two of G‑d’s creations were unhappy with how G‑d had made them and where He had put them, he felt it was his responsibility to do something. G‑d’s world was his world, and if any creature’s sadness reached out to him, it was a mission handed to him from Above.

When your world looks dim, when you feel you are stuck in a prison and all is unjust, do yourself a favor. Look up and see what’s going on with the people around you. Do something, however small it may be, for a fellow human or two.

You will liberate yourself, perhaps even your entire world.

Miketz 5734