c 3797 BCE- According to tradition, Cain's and Abel's sacrifices were offered tonight, 15 Nisan, the Seder night (Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer).


c 1875 BCE- Sarah was kidnapped and brought to the house of Pharaoh.


c 1905 BCE- Abraham Battles Four Kings. When Lot was taken captive by the four kings who conquered the "five cities of the plain" (Sodom, Gomorra, Admah, Zevoim and Zoar), Abraham, aided only by a small band of loyal servants, went to battle to rescue his nephew.

"The night divided for them, for him and his servants, and they defeated them, pursuing them to Hovah, which is to the left of Damascus... And he recovered all the property; also his kinsman, Lot, and his property were recovered, and also the women and the people" (Genesis 14:15-16).

Abraham meets Melchizedek.


c 1900 BCE- The LORD made the Covenant Between the Parts with Abraham (Genesis 15) in which the destiny of the Jewish people was foretold.  The LORD granted Abraham and his descendents the Land of Israel as their eternal heritage but first they would have to experience exile and persecution.

"And He said to Abram: 'Know surely that your descendents shall be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved to them, and they will afflict them four hundred years... and afterwards they shall come out with great wealth.' And when the sun went down and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a burning torch which passed between those pieces... On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: 'To your seed I have given these land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates'" (Genesis 15:13-18).


c 1877- On the 3rd day following his circumcision at age 99,  three angels visited Abraham.  The Angel of the LORD informed Avraham and Sarah that in exactly one year, a son (Yitzchak) will be born to them (Genesis 18:10).


c 1876- The birth of Isaac. "The LORD remembered Sarah as He had said; and the LORD did to Sarah as He had spoken. And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which the LORD had spoken to him... Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Yitzchak was born to him. And Sarah declared: 'the LORD has made laughter for me, so that all that hear will laugh ('yitzchak') with me'" (Genesis 21:1-6).

c 1766 BCE- Yitzchak summoned Esau and requested that he prepare a tasty meal for him and receive his blessing. [This tradition was apparently based on the wording of Yitzchak's blessing: "May the LORD give you of the dew of heaven".  The Talmud fixed 15 Nisan as the beginning of the harvest season and the end of the rainy season. Thereafter rain is harmful but dew is beneficial.]

c 1766 BCE- Yaakov wrestles with the Angel of the LORD and afterwards the LORD changes Yaakov's name to Israel. (Genesis 32:25-29).

It was the eve of 15 Nisan. The next morning, Yaakov confronted Esau in the flesh. Esau, who had come with a band of armed men with the intention to kill his brother, "ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they wept". Esau invited Yaakov to join him in his mountain kingdom of Se'ir, but Yaakov replied, "Please, let my lord go on ahead before his servant; and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that goes before me and the children, until I come to my lord to Se'ir" -- a promise yet to be fulfilled (Genesis 33:4-14).

c 1696 BCE- Isaac dies.


c 1600 BCE- Judah dies.


c 1475 BCE- Moses sees the Burning Bush. Exactly one year before the Exodus - Moses was shepherding the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro, at the foot of Mount Sinai, when the LORD appeared to him in a "thornbush that burned with fire, but was not consumed" and instructed him to return to Egypt, come before Pharaoh, and demand in the name of the LORD: "Let My people go, so that they may serve Me." (Exodus 3:2)


c 1476 BCE- The Exodus from Egypt. 

At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nisan, 210 years after Jacob settled in Egypt and 430 years after the "Covenant Between the Parts," the LORD visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn.

Several million souls - 600,000 adult males, plus the woman and children, and a large "mixed multitude" of non-Hebrews who joined them - left Egypt on that day, and began the 50-day trek to Sinai and their birth as the nation of Israel.


c 535 BCE- Daniel is thrown into the lions' den. Daniel was cast into a den of hungry lions by Darius I of Persia for violating a royal edict that no man may pray to any god save the king for 30 days. Miraculously, the lions did not touch him, and he emerged from the den unscathed (Daniel 6:5-29).


c 529 BCE- Queen Vashti was banished (executed?) by order of Achashveirosh. On the seventh day of his royal feast, King Achashveirosh demanded that the Queen Vashti appear to display her beauty before all the attending guests. When Vashti refused his request, the king had her executed. Her death paved the way for Esther to become queen and save the Jewish nation from Haman's plot.

c 521 BCE- Esther appeared before Achashveirosh to plead for the Jews.

73 CE- The last pocket of Jewish resistance to the Roman conquest of the Land of Israel after the destruction of the Second Temple came to an end when Masada fell to the Romans.

1497- An order was issued to seize of all Portuguese Jewish children, ages 4-14 for forced conversion.

1506- Massacre of Marranos of Lisbon.

1799- Napoleon "promised" the Jews of the Land of Israel the "reestablishment of ancient Yerushalayim" coupled with a plea for their support. This was the first promise by a modern government to establish a Jewish state.


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Yom Sh'lishi, 13 Iyar, 5784

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


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