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Sunday, September 15, 2013

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Laws and Customs

Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.

It is customary to begin working on -- or at least planning -- the construction of the sukkah immediately after Yom Kippur. Indeed, The Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 30:7) describes the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot as a time when the Jewish people are "preoccupied with mitzvot... this one is occupied with his sukkah, this one is occupied with his lulav..."

According to an old Chassidic tradition -- mentioned in the writings of the Baal Shem Tov -- the day after Yom Kippur is referred to as "G-d's Name." (The Baal Shem Tov explains that each of the various divine names describe G-d's involvement in a specific "world" or realm of reality, but the designation "G-d's Name" -- without reference to any particular name -- connotes a divine effluence that transcends all realms and particulars. On Yom Kippur, we access and reveal the very essence of our soul, which is one with the very essence of G-d; thus the day after Yom Kippur carries the designation "G-d's Name.")

Daily Thought

Two rivers take you home: One flows with bitter tears of remorse,
the other with sweet tears of joy.

For most of time, the principal path of travel was the bitter one. Only once soaked in those bitter waters could you rise to embrace your G‑d with joy.

But now we have experienced more than our fill of pain. That which our people suffered in lands across the ocean has purged every stain, bleached every garment of our souls, refined us and lifted us high.

We have cried enough bitter tears. Now is time to return with joy.

Maamar Margalia B’Fuma D’Rabba 5746. Blessing on Erev Yom Kippur 5750.