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Shabbat, August 12, 2017

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Chof Av
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

First printing of the Zohar, the fundamental work of the Kabbalah (Jewish esoteric and mystical teachings), authored by the Talmudic sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Links: The Kabbalah

Av 20 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson (1878-1944), in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was Chief Rabbi of Yekaterinoslav (currently Dnepropetrovsk), and was arrested and exiled to Kazakhstan by the Stalinist regime as a result of his work to preserve Jewish life in the Soviet Union.

Links:
A Brief Biography
Rebbetzin Chana Scneerson's biography, which includes her account of her husband's heroism, arrest and passing.

Laws and Customs

During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we study a weekly chapter of the Talmud's Ethics of the Fathers ("Avot") each Shabbat afternoon; this week we study Chapter Five.

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 5

Daily Thought

If you are kind, learn also to be fierce.
If you are wise, learn also to be simple.
If you are fire, learn also to stay cool.

Whatever you find yourself being, be the opposite as well.

Torah Ohr 19b; Likkutei Sichot, vol. 20, pp. 76, 306–307.