468- Three leaders of Babylonian Jewry were arrested by Persian officials, sparking a wave of persecution of the Jews of Babylonia. In 468 CE, Rabbi Amemar, Rabbi Mesharsheya and Rabbi Huna, the heads of Babylonian Jewry, were arrested and executed 11 days later. The Jewish community of Babylon had existed for 900 years, ever since Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Israel, destroyed the Beit HaMikdash, and exiled the Jews to Babylon.

Seventy years later, when the Jews were permitted to return to Israel, a large percentage remained in Babylon -- and this eventually became the center of Jewish rabbinic authority. Things began to worsen in the 5th century, when the Persian priests, fighting against encroaching Christian missionaries, unleashed anti-Christian persecutions which caught the Jews of Babylonia in its wake. Eventually the situation improved, and Babylon remained as the center of Jewish life for another 500 years.


December 9, 1804- Supposed liberties granted Russian Jews by the Czar, actually spelled economic ruin for much of the Jewish community.


December 9, 1823- The Prussian government decreed that Jewish services must be conducted in strict adherence to Jewish Tradition. The decree was "solicited" by the Traditional Jewish community in order to fight against the new Reform movement. Ultimately, however, we suffer much more harm from governmental intervention than good.


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Rivi'i, 14 Iyar, 5784 - Pesach Sheini

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


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