Remembering each and every person who was lost, may their memory be a blessing.
Dedicated by Mina and Suzanne Goodman

Day 68

How a Conversation Changed the World

Dedicated by the directors of Vintage Financial Ltd in loving memory of the late Ivor Hartnell and the late Sandra Stein.

Could one ancient conversation begin to change history and continue to affect us today? The biblical book of Ezra1 records such a conversation in Babylonia (modern day Iraq), which occurred around 2,500 years ago and put in place a sequence of events which would ultimately lead to the contemporary society that we recognise today. THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND CHARACTERS The participants were Artaxerxes, King of Persia, and Ezra, a courtier and outstanding young Jewish scholar of the vibrant Babylonian Jewish community, which had developed after the destruction of the First Temple. The king instructed Ezra to travel to Jerusalem, with a royal decree authorising him to revitalise the Jewish community and fledgling Second Temple there. Nehemiah, another great leader, later worked together with Ezra; their respective biblical books sit side-by-side.


Rabbi Michael Laitner

Rabbi Michael Laitner is the Director of Education for United
Synagogue Living and Learning and an assistant rabbi at Finchley
Synagogue, London. He is a qualified solicitor.

Fact of the Day

December 15, 1961

Adolf Eichman found guilty

Otto Adolf Eichmann – 19 March 1906 – 31 May 1962) was a German Nazi SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) and one of the major organisers of the Holocaust. Eichmann was charged by SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich with facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe during World War II. In 1960, he was captured in Argentina by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. Following a widely publicised trial in Israel, he was found guilty of war crimes and hanged in 1962.

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Today's Video

Archeological finds in Jerusalem, dating from the time of King Solomon

70 Days for 70 Years is a project of The United Synagogue