Thursday, March 10

Call for Entries

If you see a similarity between Achasverosh the late king of Persia and the future (?) president of America (United or not), leave your comment here.
We'll add it to this Blog and it will be published in time for the reading of Megillas Esther.

Tuesday, March 8

Hashgochoh Protis XI - השגחה פרטית

This story is from a South Tottenham resident:

This story happened on a Friday noontime, during the recent bank holiday weekend of 01/01/2016.  On such a day, we would do the things that we never manage on a regular workday, which means: never…  
The children were at home from school, I was also home from work.  They prepared for me a long To Do List of chores that have been waiting to be taken care of.  I decided to call a minicab and tick off all the items as I go round town finishing the long list.  Alas there were no cars available.  
One of my children suggested we use the recently-launched car hire service DriveNow, but when i waited three minutes on their music line, I realised that their call centre will not answer on such a lazy day...
I informed the family that there is currently no car readily available from this company.
As I very much wanted to finish the outstanding things, which have been languishing for a long time, I decided that – no matter what – I’ll do everything by foot.  
Just then my daughter came running into the house, begging me to come outside.  I didn’t know what happened to her, but I followed her through the front door, where lo and behold - a DriveNow car was parked right outside my front door!

Thursday, March 3

''Shem HaGedolim''

This is one of the classics for which the Chida (Rabbi Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai) is famous in traditional (as well as estranged) Jewish circles alike.  There is a story behind this 'book of stories' which makes the creation of this tome the more legendary than many of his other great works. The story is told of how, upon landing in Livorno he was imprisoned for one night (or two) on suspicion of being a spy.  Sitting as he was in this damp dungeon, without his beloved Seforim (study books), he was forced to learn by heat, which - in those scary circumstances - was quite a difficult feat.  In order to alleviate his anguished position and elevate himself from his fear of the unknown, he started compiling in his mind a list of all the worthy personalities and their written works that made the Jewish people proud throughout their long and arduous journey through history.  When he was released from custody, following extensive intervention by the local Jewish community, he committed the list from his memory onto paper.  What resulted was no less than a veritable repository of history, genealogy and discussion that spanned nearly five thousand years!

His notes were published in four booklets, comprising two sections, under the titles ''Shem HaGedolim'' (The Name of the Great Ones), containing the names of authors, and ''Wa'ad la‑Ḥakamim'' (Assembly of the Wise), containing the titles of works. This treatise has established for Azulai a lasting place in Jewish literature. It contains data that might otherwise have been lost, and it proves the author to have had a critical mind. By sound scientific methods he investigated the question of the genuineness of [[Rashi]]'s commentary to ''[[Books of Chronicles|Chronicles]]'' or to some Talmudic treatise (see "Rashi," in ''Shem HaGedolim''). However, he does assert that Rashi indeed is the author of the "Rashi" commentary on [[Neviim]] and [[Ketuvim]], contrary to others' opinions.

Belz Jubilee

With the approach of the fiftieth anniversary since the crowning of the present Rebbe of Belz, Hasidim all over the world are eagerly anticipating the festive jubilee to commemorate this milestone.  There are many little milestones along the long and arduous journey that the Rebbe started all those years ago, each of which would be enough to celebrate the prodigious achievements that he managed to build up from scratch.  This planned jubilee is a culmination of all those small and large projects, which the Rebbe unflinchingly pushed for, that at times seemed so far-fetched from ever reaching fruition, when many of his followers thought of giving up - as some did - this calls for a grand celebration.  Hasidim all over will use this opportune moment in the hard-won annals of Belz history, to wish the Rebbe many healthy and happy years, during which he will lead his flock in the ways of Torah, servitude to the Almighty and Hasidism, until the days of Mashiach - may we see it with our eyes, speedily Amen.