c 2267 BCE- Noah's Ark rested on the (still submerged) summit of the Mountains of Ararat after the Flood.  "And the ark came to rest in the seventh month, on the 17th day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat" (Genesis 8:4).

Though the torrential rains only lasted for 40 days and 40 nights, it would be several months before the waters subsided enough for Noah's Ark to come to rest and another several months before the dove returned with an olive branch in its beak - a sign that it was safe to exit the Ark.  As symbolized by the rainbow, the LORD promised never to flood the Earth again.


c 140 BCE- The residents of Beit Achidat Migdal Tzur, who aided the enemies of the people of Israel (the Greeks) were expelled from their city by the Hasmoneans.


65 CE- Jewish insurgent forces captured the fortress of Antonia in Jerusalem. This battle marked the outbreak of the Jewish revolt against Rome.


1291- Acco was captured by Muslims ending the Christian Crusader Kingdom and their domination of the Land of Israel. (Some have this date as 11 Sivan).


May 31, 1665- Under the coaching of Nathan of Gaza, Shabtai Tzvi proclaimed himself the Messiah.


June 23, 1853- Edgardo Mortaro is kidnapped by Papal authorities to be raised as a Catholic because the family’s Christian maid had secretly baptized him. Tragically, he eventually became a Catholic priest. He died in 1940 in Paris, after spending years in a monastery. Elena Mortara, a great-great-grand-niece of his, continues to campaign for an apology from the Vatican against the canonization of Pius IX who gave the orders to kidnap Mortaro.


 June 13, 1922- At a commencement exercise, then-president of Harvard University, A.L. Lowell, proposed quotas to limit Jewish college acceptance. Even though he was eventually forced to rescind his anti-Semitic comments, his ideas took hold in academia, and affected the welfare of Jews in universities for decades.


June 4, 1939- The German ocean liner St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees, was turned away from the Florida coast by U. S. officials.


June 2, 1942- The German military commander of occupied France ordered all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David with the inscription “Juif”.


June 20, 1943- Heinrich Himmler ordered the destruction of all Russian ghettos.


May 28, 1964- The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) established in East Jerusalem, three years before the Six-Day War, through which Israel acquired the disputed territories.


June 25, 1967- Spain passed a law granting Jews and Protestant Christians the right of public worship, including permission to mark their places of worship and advertise their religious services. This was the first such law since Ferdinand and Isabella proclaimed Catholicism as Spain’s only religion in 1942. It had been officially forbidden to practice Judaism in Spain -- though this law had not been enforced for many years before its official abolishment. In 2006, for the first time, a poll showed that the majority of young adult Spanish citizens do not consider themselves Catholics.


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Rishon, 20 Kislev, 5784

Sunday, December 03, 2023


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