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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Today is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of Rabbi Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508), one of the leaders of Spanish Jewry at the time of the 1492 expulsion. A minister in the king's court (after having served as treasurer to the king of Portugal), he chose to join his brethren in their exile. He began writing his extensive and highly regarded commentary on the Torah in 1503 in Venice (where it was published in 1579).

Simeon the Righteous was the spiritual and political leader of the Jewish nation during a turbulent time in history—when Alexander the Great conquered and dominated the entire civilized world. Known as “the righteous” due to his saintly character, Simeon was the last member of the Men of the Great Assembly (Anshei Knesses Hagdolah), a 120-member panel of prophets and sages who guided the Jews at the onset of the Second Temple era.

Link: Shimon HaTzadik

Daily Thought

The Zohar tells us that we must learn from Joseph.

When he fell into his brothers’ hands, they almost murdered him and they sold him into slavery.

But when his brothers fell into his hands, he brought them to repent, and then arranged for them the best living conditions in Egypt.

Joseph was a tzadik. He had mastered the beast within his heart.

But the Zohar speaks to us, and tells us, “Even when your heart burns with fury at those you envy or despise, or have wronged you, even at the time that your mind is assaulted with thoughts of spite and revenge—

—even then, you have the power to do the polar opposite of what the beast within you demands you do, to refuse to entertain those nasty thoughts or to express any anger, and instead to deal with these people with respect and even greater kindness to the opposite extreme.

In a way, that may be greater than a tzadik such as Joseph. For you have defeated the beast at the zenith of its power.

Tanya, end of chapter 12. See also chapter 27.