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Adar 13

On Adar 13, during the biblical story of Purim, the 10 sons of Haman were hanged (Esther 9:7). This would find eerie parallel over 2,000 years later when 10 top Nazi officials were hanged at the Nuremberg Trials. Incredibly, the Hebrew year of the hangings at Nuremberg, 5707, is encoded in the Book of Esther: In the listing of Haman's 10 sons, three Hebrew letters -- taf, shin and zayin, representing the year 5707 -- are written unusually small. (This anomaly appears in every authentic Megillah scroll, written that way for over 2,000 years.) Incredibly, when Nazi officer Julius Streicher ascended the gallows to be hanged at Nuremberg, he shouted, "Purimfest 1946."

Adar 13 is also the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), the great leader of 20th century American Jewry. Born in Russia, Rabbi Feinstein escaped the Stalinist regime in 1937 and settled in New York. He became recognized as the leading rabbinic figure of his generation, issuing thousands of responsa on all matters of Jewish law (published in a collection called Igros Moshe, The Letters of Moshe). Rabbi Feinstein was known for his genius command of talmudic literature, which enabled him to delve into topics of modern medicine, economics and ethics, thus demonstrating the power of Torah to integrate with the modern world. Rabbi Feinstein was born on Adar 7, the birth date of the biblical Moses, after whom he is named. Rabbi Feinstein was revered for his great humility and concern for every human being. He was buried in Jerusalem, where 200,000 people attended his funeral on Purim day.

Article 162 of 356 in the series Day in Jewish History

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