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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On this day, Ezra the Scribe went up to the Holy Temple and fasted, prayed, and cried in public. While he prayed and confessed, weeping and prostrating himself in front of the Temple, a large assemblage of men, women, and children gathered around him.

At that time, all of the assembled priests and Israelites swore to send away their non-Jewish wives. Ezra then issued a proclamation that all Jews residing in Israel should assemble in three days' time in Jerusalem (see Today in Jewish History for the 20th of Kislev).

Links: Ezra - Chapter 9; Ezra - Chapter 10.

Laws and Customs

In last night’s evening prayers we begin inserting the request for rain, “v’tein tal umatar,” in the amidah. We continue adding this request into the weekday prayers until the holiday of Passover.

Daily Thought

How could it be that a prayer goes unanswered?

Some will tell you that every prayer is answered, but sometimes the answer is, “no”.

Those who say this do not understand the secret of prayer. For prayer is when a human being below burns down the walls of his or her own ego, bringing delight to the One Above. And when delight is brought Above, it must return below.

So some will tell you that, yes, the prayer is always answered, but perhaps only in a spiritual realm. Not always can a prayer affect the coarseness of our material world.

But this cannot be, for the human being below did not pray for a spiritual blessing, but for a material one. To the place from which the prayer came, to there the blessing must return.

Rather, it must be that every prayer is answered, in our world, now, for the one who prayed and for that which he prayed.

The problem is only in the packaging—that it is wrapped up in the messy business of our coarse and dark world, so that at times we cannot see through the wrappings to discover the answer to our prayer.

But there will be a time when all of us will return to the One Above with all our hearts, and then all the concealment of this world will be shattered. The wrappings will fall away and we will see how each prayer was answered in its time. And we will hold all the blessings of all those millennia in our hands.

Maamar Vayigash Elav 5725, 6.