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Drawing the Wind: L’Shana Tova 5769

Long ago, on the Spanish island of Majorca, a young boy spent most of each day at the shore, sketching the ships that sailed into the harbor. Solomon was a wonderful artist, everyone agreed. His drawings seemed so real that people wondered if the waves were as wet as they seemed-or the sun as hot.

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The Cave of Mattathias

In a village near the city of Riminov there was a Hasid whose custom it was to bring newly made oil to Reb Menachem Mendel of Riminov, and the rabbi would light the first candle of Hanukah in his presence. One year the winter was hard, the land covered with snow, and everyone was locked in his home. But when the eve of Hanukah arrived, the Hasid was still planning to deliver the oil. His family pleaded with him not to go, but he was determined, and in the end he set out across the deep snow. That morning he entered the forest that separated his village from Riminov, and the moment he did, it began to snow. The snow fell so fast that it covered every landmark, and when at last it stopped, the Hasid found that he was lost. The whole world was covered with snow.

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L’Shana Tova 5768

A Vigil at the Wailing Wall: In those days Rabbi Abraham Berukhim was known for performing the Midnight Vigil. He rose at midnight and walked through the streets of Safed, crying out, “Arise, for the Shekhinah is in exile, and our holy house is devoured by fire, and Israel faces great danger.”

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The teenage exploits of a future celebrity

Rising to prominence at lightning speed during World War II, Leonard Bernstein quickly became one of the most famous musicians of all time, gaining notice as a conductor and composer of both classical works and musical theater. One day he was a recent Harvard graduate, struggling to earn a living in the music world.

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