629- After being assisted by the Jews to overcome the Persians in return for a promise of amnesty, Byzantine Emperor Heraclius entered Yerushalayim as conqueror. The local priests convinced him that killing Jews was a positive commandment and that his promise was therefore invalid. Hundreds of Jews were massacred and thousands of others fled to Egypt, bringing the sizable Jewish life in the Galil and Judea to an end. Three years later, Heraclius forced baptism on North African Jewish communities, in what may have been the first case of officially sanctioned forced baptism on Jews. The Jews in Constantinople suffered from anti-Jewish riots during his reign.


1496- Jews were expelled from Syria.


Feb. 28, 1747- The Pope reaffirmed a Church rule forcing Christianity upon a Jewish child who was baptized against the will of his parents and in violation of canonical law.


March 3, 1801- First Jewish Governor Sworn In. When Governor of Georgia James Jackson resigned his post to serve as a US senator, the president of the Georgia Senate, David Emanuel, was sworn in as governor. It marked the first time that a Jewish person served as governor of a US state. Emanuel served the remaining eight months of Jackson's term, but did not seek re-election, opting instead to retire from politics. In 1812, Georgia named a new county in his honor: "Emanuel County."


March 17, 1808- Napoleon I issued a decree suspending for a decade the emancipation of Jews in the French-occupied European countries.


March 1, 1823- The inaugural publication of the first Anglo-Jewish periodical, with the "politically impolite" name, The Jew. It was published in New York City and edited by Solomon H. Jackson. The subtitle of the paper was "Being a defence of Judaism against all adversaries, and particularly against the insidious attacks of Israel's Advocate." Its major aim was to combat missionaries, and specifically "Israel's Advocate," a Christian conversionist periodical published at the same time. The periodical was issued until March 1825.


1891- All Jewish artisans, brewers, and distillers were expelled from Moscow by Russian imperial decree.


March 9, 1901- Jews of Smyrna, Turkey were attacked by Greeks who accused the Jews with ritual murder.


March 5, 1953- The Soviet tyrant "Sun of the Nations" Josef Stalin died on the very day that the "Doctors' Plot" trial was set to begin and hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews were saved from Stalin's plan to deport them to Siberia where they would have died of cold and starvation. The Doctors' Plot was one facet of Stalin's ruthless anti-Semitic campaign that falsely charged the Jews with espionage against the Communist Party. It accused some of Russia's most prestigious doctors -- mostly Jews -- of a vast plot to poison the top Soviet political and military leaders. Scores of Soviet Jews were fired from their jobs, arrested, sent to gulags or executed. This was accompanied by show trials and anti-Semitic propaganda. Pravda wrote: "Unmasking the gang of poisoner-doctors struck a blow against the international Jewish Zionist organization." Some historians contend that Stalin was preparing a Soviet-wide pogrom, a "Second Holocaust," but the scheme was cancelled upon Stalin's death. Soviet leaders later admitted that the charges had been entirely invented by Stalin and his cohorts.


Torah Portion




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Today is

Yom Shabbat, 26 Kislev, 5784 - 2nd day of Chanukkah

Saturday, December 09, 2023


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