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Sunday, September 24, 2017

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Fast of Gedaliah (postponed)
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Today is a fast day mourning the assassination of the Jewish royal Gedaliah ben Achikam, governor of the Land of Israel for a short period following the destruction of the First Temple. Gedaliah's killing spelled the end of the small remnant of a Jewish community that remained in the Holy Land after the destruction. They soon fled to Egypt. (According to many opinions, the assassination of Gedaliah actually occurred on Rosh Hashanah, but the commemoration of the event is postponed to the day after the festival; when the day after Rosh Hashanah is a Shabbat -- as it is this year -- the fast is postponed to Tishrei 4.)

Link: About Gedaliah

Laws and Customs

Mourning the killing of Gedaliah (see "Today in Jewish History"), we abstain from food and drink from dawn to nightfall; selichot prayers are included in the morning prayer.

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 97 Chapter 98 Chapter 99

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

Daily Thought

What do we bring to the table?

Our brains, our power, our beauty, are all from Him.

We can decide with our own free will to do good and to restrain ourselves from the opposite. Yet even then, we are only playing our role in the script for which we were formed.

But when we mess up, we can call out to the Infinite Light and say, “Dad, I still love you. Do you still love me?” and ask forgiveness.

That is not in the script. That is from beyond. Way beyond.