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Shabbat, October 7, 2017

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Calendar for: Beth Habad St. Maur St.-Maur-des-Fossés, 94210 France   |   Contact Info
Sukkot (Chol Hamoed)
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
Times for Paris, France
6:20 AM
Dawn (Alot Hashachar):
7:02 AM
Earliest Tallit (Misheyakir):
7:59 AM
Sunrise (Hanetz Hachamah):
10:46 AM
Latest Shema:
11:43 AM
Latest Shacharit:
1:38 PM
Midday (Chatzot Hayom):
2:07 PM
Earliest Mincha (Mincha Gedolah):
4:59 PM
Mincha Ketanah (“Small Mincha”):
6:10 PM
Plag Hamincha (“Half of Mincha”):
7:17 PM
Sunset (Shkiah):
8:04 PM
Shabbat Ends:
1:38 AM
Midnight (Chatzot HaLailah):
57:15 min.
Shaah Zmanit (proportional hour):
Laws and Customs

The festival of Sukkot, commemorating G-d's enveloping protection of the Children of Israel during their 40-year journey through the desert (1313-1273 BCE), is celebrated for seven days, beginning from the eve of Tishrei 15. During this time, we are commanded to "dwell" in a sukkah -- a hut of temporary construction, with a roof covering of raw, unfinished vegetable matter (branches, reeds, bamboo, etc.) -- signifying the temporality and fragily of human habitation and man-made shelter and our utter dependence upon G-d's protection and providence. "How [does one fulfill] the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah? One should eat, drink, and live in the sukkah, both day and night, as one lives in one's house on the other days of the year: for seven days a person should make his home his temporary dwelling, and his sukkah his permanent dwelling" (Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chaim 639:1).

At least one k'zayit (approx. 1 oz.) of bread should be eaten in the sukkah on the first evening of the festival, between nightfall and midnight. A special blessing, Leishiv BaSukkah, is recited. For the rest of the festival, all meals must be eaten in the sukkah (see the Code of Jewish Law or consult a Halachic authority as to what constitutes a "meal"). Chabad custom is to refrain from eating or drinking anything outside of the sukkah, even a glass of water.

Also see: the Ushpizin

Links: The Big Sukkah; The Temporary Dwelling; The Easy Mitzvah

When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, one of the special Sukkot observances was to pour water on the Altar. The drawing of water for this purpose was preceded by all-night celebrations in the Temple courtyard; on the 15 steps leading to the azarah (inner courtyard) stood Levites while playing a variety of musical instruments, sages danced and juggled burning torches, and huge oil-burning lamps illuminated the entire city. The singing and dancing went on until daybreak, when a procession would make its way to the Shiloach Spring which flowed in a valley below the Temple to "draw water with joy." "One who did not see the joy of the water-drawing celebrations," declared the sages of the Talmud, "has not seen joy in his life."

While water was poured each day of the fetival, the special celebrations were held only on Chol Hamoed since many of the elements of the celebration (e.g., the playing of musical instruments) are forbidden on Yom Tov.

Today, we commemorate these joyous celebrations by holding Simchat Beit HaShoeivah ("joy of the water drawing") events in the streets, with music and dancing. The Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated the custom of holding such celebrations on Shabbat and Yom Tov as well -- without musical instruments of course. The fact that we cannot celebrate as we did in the Temple, said the Rebbe, means that we are free to celebrate the joy of Sukkot with singing and dancing every day of the festival.

Link: The Taste of Water

Daily Thought

There is the body, the soul, and then there is the essence. If the soul is light, then the essence is the source of light. If the soul is energy, then the essence is the generator. It is not something you have. It is who and what you are.

Whatever we do, we dance around that essence-core, like an orbiting spacecraft unable to land. We can meditate, we can be inspired—but to touch our inner core, the place from whence all this comes, that takes a power from beyond.

That is why there are seasons in life empowered from beyond. Special days and special nights, times of crisis and times of joy that touch the core. At other times, you can step forward. At those times, you can leap into a new form of being.

Motzei Chanuka 5735:7, and on many other occasions.