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Friday, August 22, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In 1843, the Interior Ministry of the Czarist government convened a rabbinical conference in the Russian capital of Petersburg, to the end of imposing changes in Jewish communal life and religious practice. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866, known as the "Tzemach Tzedek" after his Halachic works by that name) was invited; as a primary figure in the leadership of Russian Jewry, his compliance was required to lend legitimacy to the government's proposed "reforms". In the course of the conference, the Tzemach Tzeddek was placed under arrest no less than 22 (!) times for his refusal to cooperate. When he finally departed Petersburg on the 26th of Av, he had successfully prevented the government's disruption of traditional Jewish life.

Links:
A Brief Biography of the Tzemach Tzedek
More on the Tzemach Tzeddek

Daily Thought

When his people broke the deal and incurred divine wrath, Moses told G‑d, “Forgive them. And if You do not, erase me from Your book that You have written.”

Meaning: “I know You want to forgive them. You love them no matter what. You loved them before, when they had all but abandoned You in Egypt, and You love them now as well. It’s only this book that stands in the way. And if so, I want no part of such a book.”

It was then that G‑d wrote forgiveness into His book.

And so must we.

Likkutei Sichot, vol. 21, pp. 173–180; ibid., vol. 9, pp. 237–242.