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Monday, September 24, 2012

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The 14-day dedication festivities, celebrating the completion of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem built by King Solomon, commenced on the 8th of Tishrei of the year 2935 from creation (826 BCE). The First Temple served as the epicenter of Jewish national and spiritual life for 410 year, until its destruction by the Babylonians in 423 BCE.

Links: The Holy Temple: an Anthology

Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Baruch, father of the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi.

Laws and Customs

The 10-day period beginning on Rosh Hashanah and ending on Yom Kippur is known as the "Ten Days of Repentance"; this is the period, say the sages, of which the prophet speaks when he proclaims (Isaiah 55:6) "Seek G-d when He is to be found; call on Him when He is near." Psalm 130, Avinu Malkeinu and other special inserts and additions are included in our daily prayers during these days.

The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms). Click below for today's three Psalms.

Chapter 109
Chapter 110
Chapter 111

Links: About the Ten Days of teshuvah; Voicemail; more on teshuvah

In certain communities, it is customary to perform the Tashlich ceremony today (if the day doesn't fall on Shabbat.)

Daily Thought

Night comes before day, pain before pleasure, confusion before wisdom. So too, the way this world was made, there is no journey forward without first a step backward.

So it is with all creatures. But we human beings, we strive not only to move forward, but to leap beyond our own nature, beyond any nature at all.

We, too, must first step back before we can leap upward. But since our leap is beyond nature, we fall, too, beneath our nature.

That is sin—a fall beneath your own nature, as one who crouches before he leaps.

And that is the power of return
—to leap beyond any bounds at all.