February 14, 1674- In the 1660's the Jewish community of Barbados became established and of considerable importance. The Jewish community, however, had a decided disadvantage in that their testimony was not admissible in court cases due to their refusal to take an oath on a Christian Bible. In October 1669 the Jewish community presented the king a petition requesting permission to take be able to take oaths on the Five Books of Moses, the Jewish Bible. Several years later, on Wednesday, February 14, 1674, Barbados passed a law granting the Jewish community the permission they requested. The Jews of Barbados were given permission to take an oath with the Old Testament. This was a first for the New World. 151 years later, also on 8 Adar, Jews of Maryland were allowed to take a non-Christian oath. A declaration of belief in "Schar v'Onesh in Olam Haba" (Reward and Punishment in the World to Come) was part of their oath.

 

February 26, 1825- Jews Enabled to Serve in Public Office in Maryland. In 1715, the Crown Colony of Maryland enacted a law requiring any citizen who wished to hold public office to take an oath of abjuration, which contained the words, "upon the true faith of a Christian." In 1776, the new constitution of the State of Maryland reaffirmed this law, requiring any oath of office to contain a declaration of belief in the Christian religion. In the decades that followed, the struggle to repeal this law attracted national attention. On February 26, 1825 an act "for the relief of the Jews in Maryland," was passed by Maryland's House of Delegates. The bill allowed every Jewish citizen to take an oath which professes his belief in a "future State of Rewards and Punishments, in the stead of the declaration now required by the Constitution and form of Government of this State."

 

1886- Yeshiva Etz Chaim, the first elementary school with secular studies in the U.S., was established.

 

March 18, 1940- Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join the Nazis' war against France and England.

 

February 13, 1943- Deportation of the Jews from Thrace.

 

Torah Portion

נשׂא (Naso)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Sheni, 7 Sivan, 5778

Monday, May 21, 2018

 

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