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Shabbat, October 14, 2017

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Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Laws and Customs

The Shabbat after Simchat Torah is Shabbat Bereishit -- "Shabbat of Beginning" -- the first Shabbat of the annual Torah reading cycle, on which the Torah section of Bereishit ("In the Beginning") is read.

The weekly Torah reading is what defines the Jewish week, serving as the guide and point of reference for the week's events, deeds and decisions; Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi called this "living with the times." Hence the theme and tone of this week is one of beginning and renewal, as we launch into yet another cycle of Torah life. The Rebbes of Chabad would say: "As one establishes oneself on Shabbat Bereishit, so goes the rest of the year."

Link: Beginnings

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim ("the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of upcoming month of Cheshvan, which falls on Friday and Shabbat of next week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. Click here for molad times.

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Links:
On the Significance of Shabbat Mevarchim
Tehillim (the Book of Psalms)
The Farbrengen

Daily Thought

We all know the power of darkness—it is in the news every day. A thousand times over is the power of light.

A busy person stopping to do an act of kindness, a small child reaching up to kiss the mezuzah on the door of her room, a flickering candle for Shabbat or Chanukah—each of these are as bursts of light in the nighttime sky.

True, they rarely appear in the daily news. But the darkness of yesterday’s news will pass like the shadows of clouds on a windy day. Light endures forever, accumulating with every flash, until no room is left for darkness to hide.