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Shabbat, December 2, 2017

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Reuben, the eldest son of Jacob and Leah, was born in Charan (Mesopotamia) on the 14th of Kislev of the year 2193 from creation (1568 BCE). As Jacob's firstborn, he was initially entitled to the leadership of Israel and to a double portion in the Holy Land, but these privileges were taken from him (and given respectively to Judah and Joseph) because he sinned by "violating the bed of his father." Reuben unsuccessfully tried to prevent the persecution of Joseph by his brothers in 2216 (1545 BCE) and subsequently berated them for selling him into slavery (Genesis 37:21; 42:22). In 2238 he relocated to Egypt together with his father, brothers and their children, where he died on his 125th birthday in 2318 (1443 BCE).

Link: Reuben and Judah
Link: More on Reuben

On the 14th of Kislev, 1928, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, married Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneersohn (1901-1988), the middle daughter of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), the sixth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. The wedding was held in Warsaw, Poland, at the Lubavitcher Yeshivah, Tomchei Temimim.

Upon Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's passing in 1950, Rabbi Menachem Mendel succeeded his father-in-law as the Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. On the 14th of Kislev of 1953, at a farbrengen (Chassidic gathering) marking his 25th wedding anniversary, the Rebbe said to his Chassidim: "This is the day that bound me to you, and you to me."

Links: Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneersohn; The Rebbe's Marriage; Marriage: an Anthology

Daily Thought

With toil and persistence, asceticism and great sacrifice, a human being can enlighten his mind. He can reach so high as to perceive the world of the angels—or even to be granted the gift of prophecy.

But, as hard as any of us may try, as long as our brains are made of gray matter, we can never attain the enlightenment of the least of those fiery beings.

What amazes the angels, however, is this uncanny ability of a human being: To stick his head in the clouds and yet keep both feet on the ground. To traverse worlds.

Likutei Sichot vol. 15, pg. 15.