1510- The Jews of Colmar, in northern France, (at times part of Germany), were expelled. From the end of 1476 the community suffered greatly at the hands of the Swiss Confederates, who, on their way to France, plundered the Jews and committed many acts of violence. By 1478 only two Jewish families were tolerated there. On Dec. 1507, the council requested from Emperor Maximilian I, permission to banish the Jews from Colmar, a request which was granted three years later, in 1510.


Jan. 14, 1601- Hebrew books that had been confiscated by Church authorities were burned in Rome. This was an unfortunate theme throughout the Middle Ages: In 1592, Pope Clement VIII had condemned the Talmud and other Hebrew writings as "obscene," "blasphemous" and "abominable" -- and ordered them all seized and burned. Centuries earlier, Pope Gregory IX persuaded French King Louis IX to burn some 10,000 copies of the Talmud (24 wagon loads) in Paris. As late as 1553, Cardinal Peter Caraffa (the future Pope Paul IV) ordered copies of the Talmud burned in the Papal States and across Italy. Yet despite all attempts to extinguish our faith, the light of Torah shines brightly till today.


Feb. 6, 1838- Birth of the "Chafetz Chaim," the revered Torah scholar, pietist and Jewish leader, HaRav Yisrael Meir
HaKohain Kagan (1838-1933) of Radin (Poland), author of Chafetz Chaim (a work on the evils of gossip and slander and the guidelines of proper speech) and Mishnah Berurah (a codification of Torah law).


Feb. 3, 1917- British troops occupied Baghdad and brought relief to the local Jews. Their freedom lasted until 1929 when the British granted independence to Iraq and the new rulers passed a series of decrees against them.


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Chamishi, 24 Kislev, 5784

Thursday, December 07, 2023


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