Contact Us
Times displayed for
Westborough, MA 01581 | change

Shabbat, December 16, 2017

 Email
Calendar for: Chabad of Westborough 54 South Street, Westborough, MA 01581   |   Contact Info
Chanukah Day 4
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
Times for Westborough, MA 01581
5:33 AM
Dawn (Alot Hashachar):
6:13 AM
Earliest Tallit (Misheyakir):
7:09 AM
Sunrise (Hanetz Hachamah):
9:23 AM
Latest Shema:
10:09 AM
Latest Shacharit:
11:42 AM
Midday (Chatzot Hayom):
12:06 PM
Earliest Mincha (Mincha Gedolah):
2:25 PM
Mincha Ketanah (“Small Mincha”):
3:23 PM
Plag Hamincha (“Half of Mincha”):
4:15 PM
Sunset (Shkiah):
5:02 PM
Shabbat Ends:
11:42 PM
Midnight (Chatzot HaLailah):
46:17 min.
Shaah Zmanit (proportional hour):
Jewish History

On the 25th of Kislev in the year 3622 from creation, the Maccabees liberated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, after defeating the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Judaism from the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Temple to the service of G-d. But all the Temple's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; when the Jews sought to light the Temple's menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. Miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained. In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly to recall and publicize the miracle.

Link: The Story of Chanukah

Laws and Customs

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim ("the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of upcoming month of Tevet, which falls on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. Click here for molad times.

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Links: On the Significance of Shabbat Mevarchim; Tehillim (the Book of Psalms); The Farbrengen

Special prayers of thanksgiving -- Hallel (in its full version) and Al HaNissim -- are added to the daily prayers and Grace After Meals on all eight days of Chanukah. Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted for the duration of trhe festival.

In commemorartion of the miracle of Chanukah (see "Today in Jewish History" for Kislev 25) we kindle the Chanukah lights -- oil lamps or candles -- each evening of the eight-day festival, increasing the number of lights each evening. Tonight we kindle five lights. (In the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall; this evening, then, commences the 5th day of Chanukah).

IMPORTANT: Because of the prohibition to kindle fire on Shabbat, the Chanukah lights must be lit after after the Havdalah service marking the end of Shabbat at nightfall.

For a more detailed guide to Chanukah lighting (and additional Chanukah observances and customs) click here. For text and audio of the blessings recited before lighting, click here.

Daily Thought

There are dark jewels in this world that can be salvaged, purified and taken as precious bounty for the good.

And there is darkness itself, the absence of light, that must only wait its time to expire.

How can we tell between them?

If the darkness fights back, there is hope.

It means there is something there worth fighting for.