I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. Isaiah 62:6-7 (New International Version)
The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is uniting men and women from around the world to the cause of His people, Israel. Read an article written by the former Prime Minister of Spain in defense of Israel. Please stand with Israel in Washington DC.
The Babylonian armies of King Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem on the 9th of Tammuz in the year 3338 from creation (423 BC); King Ziddikiahu of Judah was captured and taken to Babylon (Jeremiah 39:5. A month later, the capture of Jerusalem was completed with the destruction of the Holy Temple and the exile of all but a small number of Jews to Babylon). Tammuz 9 was observed as a fast day until the second breaching of Jerusalem's walls (by the Romans) on the 17th of Tammuz, 3829 (69 BC), at which time the fast was moved to that date. (Talmud, Rosh Hashanah and Tur Orach Chaim 549)
Rosh Chodesh is the monthly celebration of the New Moon.
Today is the first of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the Hebrew month of "Tammuz" (when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month's Rosh Chodesh).
Special portions are added to the daily prayers: Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited -- in its "partial" form -- following the Shacharit morning prayer, and the Yaaleh V'yavo prayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals; the additional Musaf prayer is said (when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat, special additions are made to the Shabbat Musaf).
Seven months after the beginning of the Great Flood, and 17 days after the waters covering the earth began to subside, the Ark sheltering Noah, his family, and members of all animal species came to rest on the summit of Mount Ararat.
Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, was born in Charan on the 15th of Sivan, of the year 2196 from creation (1565 BC). He passed away on the same date 119 years later, in Egypt.
Judah took the leadership role both in selling Joseph into slavery and in the brothers' later attempts to find him and free him, and to protect Benjamin. On his deathbed, Jacob conferred the leadership of Israel upon Judah, proclaiming: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the legislator from between his feet, until Shiloh (the Moshiach) comes..." The royal house of David, as well as many of the great sages and leaders of Israel throughout the generations of Jewish history, trace their lineage to Judah.
Judah had five sons: Er and Onan, who died without children; Shelah; and his twins from Tamar, Peretz and Zerach. Their descendants formed the Tribe of Judah, the most populous and prestigious of the twelve tribes of Israel.
After the death of King Solomon in 797 BC, the people of Israel split into two kingdoms: ten tribes formed the Kingdom of Israel in the north, with Shomron (Samaria) as the capital; only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to Solomon's son, Rechavam, and formed the Kingdom of Judea in the south, in the areas surrounding the capitol Jerusalem. Eventually, the Northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyria and the ten tribes living there were exiled and lost to the Jewish people; the inhabitants of Judea were also exiled (to Babylonia) but subsequently returned to the Holy Land and rebuilt Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. Over time, the terms "Judean" and "Jew"--which originally referred to a member of the tribe of Judah--became synonymous with "Israelite" and was used to refer to the descendants of all of Jacob's twelve sons.
Moses Ascends to the Top of Mount Sinai (1313 BCE)
"Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain...for six days. On the seventh day God called to Moses from within the cloud... And Moses came within the cloud, and he went up to the top of the mountain, and Moses was upon the mountain forty days and forty nights" (Exodus 24:15-18).
Three days after the two spies dispatched by Joshua scouted the city of Jericho the children of Israel were ready to enter the land promised by God to their ancestors as their eternal heritage. As they approached the Jordan with the Holy Ark carried by the Kohanim (priests) in their lead, the river parted for them, as the waters of the Red Sea had split when their fathers and mothers marched out of Egypt 40 years earlier. (Joshua 4)
Because Adar 13 (the day before Purim) falls on a Shabbat this year, the "Fast of Esther," usually observed on that date, is moved back to today.
The fast -- which is observed today by all adults is in commemoration of the three-day fast called at Esther's behest before she risked her life to appear unsummoned before King Achashveirosh to save the Jewish people from Haman's evil decree (as related in the Book of Esther, chapter 4). The fast also commemorates Esther's fasting on the 13th of Adar. No food or drink is partaken of from daybreak to nightfall. Pregnant of nursing woman or people in ill health are exempted from fasting.
Giving of "Half Coins"
In commemoration of the half shekel contributed by each Jew to the Holy Temple -- and which the Talmud credits as having counteracted the 10,000 silver coins Haman gave to King Achashverosh to obtain the royal decree calling for the extermination of the Jewish people -- it is customary to give three coins in "half denomination" (e.g., the half-dollar coins) to charity on the afternoon of the Fast of Esther. (In many synagogues, plates are set out with silver half-dollars, so that all could purchase them to use in observance of this custom).
Moses passed away on the 7th of Adar. Following God's instruction that Joshua should succeed him and lead the Jewish nation into the Land of Israel, Moses transferred leadership duties to Joshua on the day before he passed away. Thus the fifth day of Adar was the last day of Moses' leadership.
When the children of Israel arrived at the Jordan, facing the city of Jericho, God ordered them to be counted. There were more than 600,000 men over twenty years, besides the members of the families of Levi. Among the adults there was not one, except Joshua and Caleb, who had been older than twenty years at the time of the exodus from Egypt. All the older generation had died in the desert, during the forty years' wandering, as God had decreed, in punishment for their rebellion.
Moses then asked for a successor to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, and G0d pointed to his disciple Joshua. God ordered Moses to put his hands on Joshua's head to invest him with full authority of leadership, and to present him to Elazar and the entire community. Moses could now die in peace, satisfied that his beloved flock would have a worthy shepherd.
Moses blessed the people of Israel for the last: time and ascended the mountain of Nebo on the seventh day of Adar in the year 2488. He stood on top of Pisgah across Jericho and looked upon the Holy Land, for which he had longed all his life, but which by God's order, he was never to enter. Thus died Moses, God's faithful servant and Israel's loyal shepherd, in the land of Moab, in full view of the Holy land, towards which he had led the children of Israel during forty years of wandering through the desert. Moses was 120 years old when he died.
On February 4, 1657, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, issued the first residence permit to a Jew, Luis Carvajal, since the expulsion of all Jews from England by King Edward I in the year 1290. The edict of expulsion had been officially overturned in the previous year, 1656. The re-admittance of Jews into England was partially due to the efforts of the great scholar Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel.
Edward I ( June 17, 1239 July 7, 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks, was King of England from 1272 to 1307.
Oliver Cromwell (April 25, 1599 September 3, 1658) 1st Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Manoel Dias Soeiro (1604 1657), better known by his Hebrew name Menasseh Ben Israel (also, Menasheh ben Yossef ben Yisrael.
The more signatures CUFI gathers on the petition to indict Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the crime of incitement to genocide the stronger the impact we will make. Please click here to ask your family and friends to sign the petition so their voices can be heard on this important issue.
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Use your Facebook Account to encourage others to sign the petition to indict Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the crime of incitement to genocide. Please cut and paste the following and post it as your status on Facebook---Sign a petition calling upon the United Nations Security Council to refer Mahmoud Ahmadinejads crimes to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. Click this link to sign the petition- http://www.cufi.org/prosecute
The Knessetgathering or assembly; is the legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.
In 1958, the foundation stone was laid for Israel's Knesset building in Jerusalem. The Knesset is composed of 120 members, the same size as the Great Assembly ("Knesset HaGedola") that served as the rabbinical body during the Second Temple era. (The Great Assembly redacted the biblical books Ezekiel, Daniel and Esther, and composed many prayers such as the Amidah.) Today, the Israeli Knesset is known as a bastion of democracy in the Middle East, with women, Arabs, and other minorities represented.
Tishrei 3, in 1825, an American diplomat named Mordechai Manuel Noah laid the foundation stone for Ararat, the first modern-day attempt to establish a national Jewish homeland. To implement his plan, Noah petitioned the New York State legislature for rights to Grand Island, a 27-square-mile parcel of land located between Buffalo, New York and Niagara Falls. Noah also levied a "redemption tax" upon each Jew in the world. Despite a grand opening ceremony, the plan fizzled when no Jews moved to Ararat / Grand Island.
In 1849, the first synagogue was dedicated in Cape Town, South Africa, called Tikvat Israel -- "Hope of Israel," referring to the Cape of Good Hope. Originally, the Dutch East India Company's rules required that all residents must be Christians. Only after freedom of religion was introduced in 1803 did Jewish settlers from England and Germany come in significant numbers to Cape Town. Around the turn of the 20th century, the development of diamond and gold mines attracted a large number of Jewish immigrants. South African Jewry enjoyed great prosperity, strongly represented in the commercial and professional sectors. The Jewish community was characterized by a deep attachment to traditional Jewish values and strong bonds with Israel. The Jewish population of South Africa reached a peak of 120,000 in the early 1970s, but with political turmoil and the dissolution of Apartheid, tens of thousands of Jews left to settle in Israel, Australia and the U.S. Tikvat Israel synagogue -- South Africa's first -- is still standing today.
The students and staff of the Mir Yeshiva, they had fled to Lithuania with the fall of Poland in 1939. There, they were able to obtain visas from the Japanese consul-general in Lithuania, and made a miraculous escape across Siberia by train, arriving in Shanghai where they spent the remainder of the war years. After the war, new Mir yeshivas were established in New York and Jerusalem, which today is the largest yeshiva in the world with over 5,000 students.
In 1729, Congregation Shearith Israel laid a foundation stone in lower Manhattan for the first structure ever designed and built as a synagogue in continental North America. At the time, New York had the only Jewish community in the country; it would be some two decades later before organized Jewish settlement began in Philadelphia, Lancaster and Charleston. Shearith Israel was the only Jewish congregation in New York City from 1654 until 1825, having been founded by Brazilian Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin. Governor Peter Stuyvesant, known for his anti-Semitic views, had initially denied Jews the right to worship in a public gathering; these Jews fought for their rights and won permission. Today, Shearith Israel occupies a grand structure at 70th Street and Central Park West.
In 1950, Operation Magic Carpet, which secretly airlifted 45,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel, was concluded. Many of the Jews had never before seen an airplane; they likened the ride to a fulfillment of the biblical verse, "And I bore you on eagles' wings" (Exodus 19:4). According to tradition, Jews had lived in Yemen since the 7th century BCE. Upon arriving in Israel they were housed in tent camps; there was very little infrastructure and resources to accommodate them, as the Jewish population of Israel nearly doubled in its first three years. Yet within a short time, the immigrants had been absorbed into the fledging Israeli society.
In the Hebrew year 2448, Moses carved the second set of Tablets out of sapphire, as recorded in Exodus 34:4. After seeing that the Israelites had made the idolatrous Golden Calf, Moses broke the first set of tablets (Exodus 32:19) and God then instructed Moses to carve new tablets. The second set of tablets was placed in the Ark of the Covenant, along with the first broken set. This second set symbolizes the ability of every person to make amends and rebuild anew. In fact, it was on the day of Yom Kippur that Moses came down from Mount Sinai holding the second set of Tablets, and it is on every subsequent Yom Kippur day that we have a special opportunity to make amends.
'So he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones, and Moses rose up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand. '
In 423 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar's troops breached the walls of old Jerusalem and entered the city. Four weeks later, the Holy Temple was destroyed, and the Jews were exiled to Babylon. Originally, a day of fasting and mourning was observed on the 9th of Tammuz. Seventy years later, however, when the Second Temple was built, the fast was abolished and the day was turned into a holiday. Some 500 years later when Jerusalem fell on the 17th of Tammuz -- prior to the destruction of the Second Temple -- the Sages decreed the 17th of Tammuz as a fast day to commemorate both tragedies.
In 1938, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated a conference at Evian, France, where 32 world leaders discussed the problem of Jewish refugees. Unfortunately, little was accomplished, as nation after nation offered excuses for their refusal to accept Jewish refugees. Chaim Weizmann was quoted as saying: "The world seemed to be divided into two parts -- those places where the Jews could not live, and those where they could not enter." The conference failed to pass even a resolution condemning German treatment of Jews. The lack of action further emboldened Hitler, proving to him that no country had the moral fortitude to oppose the Nazi assault on European Jewry.
In the Hebrew year 2448 (1312 BCE), Moses sent 12 men -- one from each tribe -- to scout out the Land of Israel. Their mission seemed rather innocuous: devise a strategy for battling the Canaanites and for settling 3 million Jews in the new land. In Israel, God showed the spies encouraging signs that the land is plentiful and rich example -- clusters of grapes so enormous that eight men were needed to carry it (Numbers 13:23). God also made sure the spies encountered heavily fortified Canaanite cities -- which in fact is a sign of Canaanite weakness, since the truly powerful do not need to hide behind walls. Yet after 40 days, the spies came back and recommended against entering the land. The Jews accepted the report, and as a consequence, God said: Because you don't want to enter the land, then all Israelites will die out over the next 40 years in the desert, and only your children will enter the land. The spies delivered their negative report on the calendar day of Tisha B'Av. Hundreds of years later, the destruction of the First Temple occurred on Tisha B'Av, and 500 years after that, the Second Temple was also destroyed on Tisha B'Av. Today, Tisha B'Av is observed as a national day of mourning for the Jewish people.
In 1855, the first Jewish hospital in America, Jews' Hospital of New York, admitted its first patient. The phenomenon of Jewish hospitals may have been linked to the experience in Europe, where restrictions were placed on the number of Jewish patients admitted to public hospitals, and even in America where quotas were placed on Jewish doctors studying and practicing. Today, Jewish hospitals are found in dozens of major cities including Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Baltimore. These hospitals are often ranked as tops in their field; for example, Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis is the largest hospital in Missouri, is regarded as one of the nation's top three medical schools, and is ranked as one of America's top-10 hospitals overall.
In the Hebrew year 1656 (2100 BCE), Noah's Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, as recorded in 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, God promised never to flood the Earth again.
In 1948, the government of Costa Rica gave diplomatic recognition to the new State of Israel. Due to its political balance, Costa Rica is often referred to as the "Switzerland of Central America." For years, Costa Rica was one of the only countries to house its embassy in Jerusalem. Of the 184 nations with which United States has diplomatic relations, Israel is the only one where the U.S. embassy is not located in the capital city
Anne Frank (1929- 1945) was a Jewish girl who was caught up in the Second World War. From 1942 until 1944 she was in hiding in Amsterdam. During that time she wrote in a diary that was found and published after her death. In 1944, she was captured by the Nazis and taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died of typhus seven months later.
These quotes are from Anne Frank's diary, which she began writing on her 13th birthday:
I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
No one has ever become poor by giving.
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
In the Hebrew year 2448, Manna fell for the first time in the desert of Sene. This came one month after the Exodus, as the supply of matzah the Israelites took from Egypt had run out. The Manna fell six days a week; a double-portion fell on Friday to include Shabbat. Unlike other miracles that were one-time events, the Manna continued to fall day after day throughout the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert.
In the Hebrew year 2488, Joshua sent scouts to survey Jericho in anticipation of the Jewish conquest. The mission was risky in the sense that 40 years earlier, Moses had sent scouts to Israel, only to have them recommend against entering the land. This time the mission was successful, and in the ensuing siege, Joshua's troops -- amidst shofar blasts -- encircled Jericho seven times until its walls came down. The events are recorded in the biblical Book of Joshua, chapters 2 and 6.
In 1980, Israel and Egypt exchanged ambassadors, marking a new era of cordial, if cold, diplomacy. In 1973, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had orchestrated an attack on Israel in the Yom Kippur War, but after suffering defeat he became resigned to Israel's existence.
In 1977, Sadat and Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Peace Agreement, for which they received the Nobel Peace Prize. Much of the Arab world was outraged by Sadat's overtures toward Israel, and he was assassinated by a Muslim extremist in 1981.
In 1273 BCE (Jewish year 2488), Moses completed his farewell address to the Jewish people, and God informed Moses that the day of his death was approaching (Deuternomony 31:14). Amazingly, the anniversary of Moses' completing his teaching coincides with the date in 1482 of the first printing of the standard format used for Jewish Bibles today: vowel signs, accents, translation (Targum), and Rashi commentary.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him." So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting. Deuteronomy 31:14
Today in Jewish History/Israeli News Update February 26, 2009 4:19 PM
Adar 3, 5769 - February 27, 2009
In 350 BC, the building of the second Holy Temple was completed in Jerusalem, as recorded in the biblical Book of Ezra (6:15). The re-building of the Temple had begun under Cyrus when the Persians first took over the Babylonian empire. The re-building was then interrupted for 18 years, and resumed with the blessing of Darius II, the Persian king whom is said to be the son of Esther. The Second Temple lacked much of the glory of the First Temple: There was no Ark of the Covenant, and the daily miracles and prophets were no longer part of the scenery. The Second Temple would stand for 420 years.
King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, King of the four corners of the World.