c 1312 BCE-  On the Shabbat before the Exodus, the first-born of Egypt (who occupied the senior positions in the priesthood and government) fought a bloody battle with Pharaoh's troops, in an effort to secure the release of the Israelites and prevent the Plague of the Firstborn. The Jews in Egypt took away the Egyptian's gods (their sheep!) and bound them to their bed to check for blemishes before slaughtering them four days later for the Passover offering. This was an act of tremendous faith by the Children of Israel, not only in taking them for slaughter, but also in holding them this way for four days.

Miraculously, the Egyptians ended up being powerless to stop Israel or harm them. This "great miracle" is commemorated each year on the Shabbat before Passover and is therefore called Shabbat HaGadol [The Great Shabbat]  since on that particular year the tenth of Nisan was on Shabbat.  This is one of the rare instances in which a commemorative date in the Jewish calendar is set by the day of the week rather than the day of the month.


c 1310 BCE- A special offering was brought including a series of gifts by the tribe of Dan for the inauguration of the Tabernacle.

c 1273 BCE- Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses passed away at the age of 126, thirty-nine years after the Exodus and exactly one year before the Children of Israel entered the Holy Land.

c 1272 BCE- Three days after the two spies were sent by Joshua to scout the city of Jericho, the children of Israel were ready to enter the land promised by the LORD to their ancestors as their eternal heritage. Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River and erected twelve monuments at Gilgal. As they approached the Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant carried by the priests in their lead, the river parted for them, as the waters of the Red Sea had split when their fathers and mothers marched out of Egypt 40 years earlier. (see Joshua chapter 4 especially Joshua 4:19)


1942- 1,500 Jews were deported from Drohobycz, Poland to the Belzec concentration camp where they were killed.

1948- The Hagana [the predecessor to the Israeli Defense Force] liberated Tiberias (Teverye).


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Shabbat, 26 Kislev, 5784 - 2nd day of Chanukkah

Saturday, December 09, 2023


Learn more about this date in history.