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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On the morning of the 4th of Nissan, a civilian convoy of doctors and nurses traveling to the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus (see Today in Jewish History for 20 Iyar) was attacked by Arab forces. Of the ten vehicles in the caravan, five escaped. The other five vehicles, however, which included two buses and an ambulance, were riddled with machine gun fire and later set ablaze. Altogether 77 Jewish civilians were massacred on that day.

Shortly afterwards, the hospital was closed down and moved to the western part of Jerusalem.

The Mt. Scopus hospital only reopened after the eastern part of Jerusalem was liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Primarily staffed by Israeli doctors, it is the largest and best equipped hospital in the eastern section of Jerusalem.

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 Reuben, Elitzur ben Shedeur, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

Water and oil both represent wisdom.

Water represents the wisdom of life in this world, a wisdom that flows from the tallest mountain to the lowest valley, from the highest cloud to the deepest ocean floor. In all things, that wisdom breathes, telling us how to live, how to bring harmony into this world.

Oil represents a wisdom that is beyond this world. It is called the hidden wisdom because it is hidden by its very nature, so that it must be squeezed out of its source with great effort.

But if it is a wisdom that is beyond this world, why make the effort to reveal it? If we can live without it, why search for it?

We search for it to know why we should live in this world. To discover it is not just a world, that it has purpose and meaning. That in every cell, it contains G-d.

That is the wisdom that shines from the oil of Chanukah. In its light, we see the divine even in the darkness.

From that wisdom emerges the flame we need to live true lives.