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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

Our world today is built upon the foundations of two similar cultures: the Jewish and the Greek. Both treasured the world of ideas.

Yet, to this day, they represent two worldviews, still locked in battle.

To this day, we struggle: Does human dignity mean that our minds are the measure of all things?

Or does it mean to be in the divine image, inextricably bound up with the Infinite that lies beyond the mind?

The Greeks reached the pinnacle of intellect at their time. Their ideal was a world built upon the human mind.

But the Jewish people had experienced a deeper reality, indescribable and inexplicable. They understood that a world built on human reason alone could not stand.

The Greek conquerors rose, fell and vanished. The Jewish people still stand strong.

And so, we light candles on Chanukah. Not light to see by. Not light for any use at all. Pure light.

Light that is forever.