c 11 BCE- Dedication of Herod's renovations on the second Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Herod was king of Judea in the first century BCE who constructed grand projects like the fortresses at Masada and Herodium, the city of Caesarea, and fortifications around the old city of Jerusalem.

The most ambitious of Herod's projects was the re-building of the Holy Temple. In the year 19 BCE, King Herod floated the idea of rebuilding and renovating the Holy Temple, which was in disrepair after standing over 300 years. Though many Jews were wary of Herod's motives, the renovation was completed eight years later.

Herod's renovations included a huge man-made platform that remains today the largest man-made platform in the world. It took 10,000 men 10 years just to build the retaining walls around the Temple Mount; the Western Wall that we know today is part of that retaining wall. The Holy Temple itself was a phenomenal site, covered in gold and marble. The new structure was so magnificent, as the Talmud states: "He who has not seen Herod's building has never in his life seen a truly grand building!"

 

1389- After a priest was hit with a few grains of sand thrown by small Jewish boys playing in the street, he insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. In the pogrom that followed, hundreds of Jews were murdered, the shul and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged.

 

March 7, 1944- 9,971 Jews were gassed in Auschwitz throughout the course of the day. Complete Jewish families were brought in from the Theresienstadt camp, as proof to visiting Red Cross inspectors that Jews were being treated well at Auschwitz. When the inspectors left the families were murdered.

 

February 22,1948- Many Jews were killed and more were wounded when a bomb exploded on the very well traveled Ben Yehudah Street in Yerushalayim.

 

Feb. 16, 1992- Nasrallah takes over Hezbollah after Israel kills the group's leader, Abbas Musawi.

 

March 17, 1992- With the help of Iranian intelligence, Hezbollah bombed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring over 200.

 

March 21, 1997- A suicide bomber blew himself up at the Apropo Coffee House on Ben Gurion Blvd. in Tel Aviv, killing three women and injuring more than 40 other patrons.  Many were dressed in costumes to celebrate Purim.
Among the injured was a 6-month-old baby, who was burned over a large portion of his body. The explosion was the first after a yearlong lull in suicide bombings.

 

Torah Portion

תצוּה (Tetzaveh)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Sheni, 4 Adar, 5778

Monday, February 19, 2018

 

Learn more about this date in history.