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ב"ה
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Shabbat, March 11, 2023

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Parah
Jewish History

When Governor of Georgia James Jackson resigned his post to serve as a US senator, the president of the Georgia Senate, David Emanuel, was sworn in as governor. March 3, 1801, was the first time that a Jewish person served as governor of a US state.

Emanuel served the remaining eight months of Jackson's term, but did not seek re-election, opting instead to retire from politics. In 1812, Georgia named a new county in his honor: "Emanuel County."

The inaugural edition of "The Jew," the first Jewish periodical in the United States, was published in March of 1823. It was published in New York City and edited by Solomon H. Jackson.

The subtitle of the paper was “Being a defence of Judaism against all adversaries, and particularly against the insidious attacks of Israel's Advocate.” Its major aim was to combat missionaries, and specifically "Israel's Advocate," a Christian conversionist periodical published at the same time.

The periodical was issued until March 1825.

The Jews of Sana’a, Yemen, were saved from a decree plotted against them by the king’s anti-Semitic ministers, in which they were accused of killing the grand prince. Yemenite Jewry celebrated this day each year with feasting and rejoicing.

Link: Purim Yemen

Laws and Customs

The Torah reading of Parah (Numbers 19) is added to the weekly reading. Parah details the laws of the "Red Heifer" and the process by which a person rendered ritually impure by contact with a dead body was purified.

(When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, every Jew had to be in a state of ritual purity in time for the bringing of the Passover offering in the Temple. Today, though we're unable to fulfill the Temple-related rituals in practice, we fulfill them spiritually by studying their laws in the Torah. Thus, we study and read the section of Parah in preparation for the upcoming festival of Passover.)

Links: The Parah reading with commentary
The Calf's Mother

Daily Thought

Some believe that life is simply about each person doing what he or she must do. For them, there are no great differences between us. One may be wise, another thoughtless, one a pragmatist, the other a dreamer, one looks heavenward, the other earthward. But life is not about thoughts or dreams or heaven. Life is about what you do.

They are right, but they are also wrong. Life is about doing, but the doing must shine. It must shine such a brilliant light that this whole world of doing will transcend itself.

To shine with that light, we must be plugged in. We must be connected together as a single organism, bonded by those souls that entirely transcend this world, as a mind transcends the body while rendering it a single whole. Then, even our most simplest deeds shine brightly.

In truth, we are more than equal. We are a single, luminous being.

Torat Menachem, vol. 34 (Likkutei Sichot, vol. 4), Parshat Korach.