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Editor's Note: A Message from Jerusalem

Dear Friend,

During the first nine days of the Hebrew month of Av, the Jewish people experience sorrow and mourning. The destruction of the Holy Temples on the ninth day of Av is both a historical fact and an eternal remembrance of national, personal and spiritual loss that we re-experience every year.

But this year—amid the daily funerals of our beloved soldiers in Israel, amid the terrors of our brethren in eastern Ukraine and throughout Israel, amid growing antisemitism and the shattering of the once-assumed security of our children everywhere—all this can lead one to the very edge of despair.

Yet here is the solution, wrapped in paradox: Our sages insist that our mourning be accompanied by joyous gratitude to G‑d and the certain anticipation of an immediate future when all that we have lost will be returned to us in greater measure than before.

The Nine Days is a time of action. We will learn more Torah—particularly, advises the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, teachings on the rebuilding of the Temple and the final redemption. And we will do more mitzvahs, which bring merit to those who are suffering most deeply, especially giving charity generously, praying for their welfare from the depths of our hearts and performing acts of kindness in their merit.

Yaakov Ort in Jerusalem,
on behalf of the Editorial Team

9 Days
The Nine Days—Laws and Customs
Heightened mourning, uplifting visions and rejoicing with mitzvot
Seeing Double

Although their mourning was prompted by a conquest, it was not Napoleon’s victory that they were lamenting.
The Holy Whole

Each of the vessels of the Temple served as an expression of G‑d’s relationship with the world.
The Temple Mount As Sacred Space

To an ecologist, nothing is as interesting as the foothills, where two ecosystems meet.
Israel at War
Tunnels of Love

The deadly network originates from basements and private homes in Gaza and extends into Israel—a tool for mass terrorist attacks against Jews.
The Tunnels That Rebuilt Jerusalem

We were saved by the tunnels we ourselves had built. Tunnels beneath the surface, connecting one Jew in this land to a Jew in another.
Playparks and Sirens

You don’t understand why we go to the bomb shelter. You’re too young. Too pure.
Beating Around the Bush

What’s puzzling here is the veiled way in which Moses chose to reproach his people. How out of character for a man whose hallmark was clarity and truth! Does not allusion leave room for confusion?
Devarim in a Nutshell
For thirty-seven days Moses talks: recalling, reminding, rebuking, warning, promising; about the revelation at Sinai and their journeys through the desert, about spies and wars and victories and the Land, and what it’s like to serve as a leader of G‑d’s chosen people.
Meditation for the Rest of Us

Meditation had once been a jailbreak for the mind’s flight from the body. Now it became a way for the body to join with the mind. In Tanya, the goal of both meditation and prayer is to awaken a sense of love and awe that overflows and sweeps up the beast in its path. To fix up that animal.
Jewish News
Ten IDF Troops Killed on Monday; Calls for Prayers for The Hospitalized

The Chabad Youth Organization in Israel emphasizes its campaign for prayers on behalf of hospitalized solders. Ten IDF troops were killed and more were wounded in Gaza fighting on Monday. What you can do to help.
Eagle Scout, 13, Shows Initiative to Spruce Up New Mexico Chabad Center

Luke Tumblin, 13, uses his Eagle Scout Service Project to help others and make a lasting impression on his community.
Downing of Airliner in Ukraine Brings Renewed Focus on Plight of Residents

While many Jewish families have fled, others remain and Chabad emissaries do all they can to help victims of shelling and chaos in eastern Ukraine.
In Skokie, Digging Deep Into Torah at the Start of the Day

A class for early risers takes root, as pre-prayer-goers discover analyzing text is “really fun.”
The Doctors Said to Leave Him in an Institution

The prognosis was that the boy would never walk, never talk and never develop much.
The Arizal’s Souls

Hundreds of years after his passing, in wondrous ways, this holy man is still leading people toward Jewish connectedness.
The Month of Av

The astrological sign of the month of Av is connected with a lion, and represents a month of enormous potential and also great tragedy. Just as healing and redemption follow the fires of destruction, similarly in our lives, our challenges are divine gifts helping us to move forward.
The Story of Water

The gathering of water of a mikvah is used today to ritually purify a married woman and is a preparation for procreation, but its story goes back to creation itself.
15 Thoughts Teenagers Wish They Could Share with Their Parents

It might be awkward and not my style right now to say it, but I do love you . . .
What Black, Yellow, Rockets and Days of Mourning Have in Common

Jewish history is anything but tragic. It is a tale of hope, faith and optimism, of strength, morality and light triumphing despite the harshest circumstances.
Getting the Boot

Oh, no! Parking enforcement, my nemesis, had caught up with me.
Pasta & Veggie Bake

An easy dairy dinner for the Nine Days.
Jonah in the Whale

This piece is a Hamsa-shaped depiction of the book of Jonah, in which the prophet Jonah tries to flee G‑d’s command and is swallowed by a whale.
[A very high] level of charity is to give to the poor without knowing to whom one gives, and without the recipient knowing from whom he received. For this is performing a mitzvah solely for the sake of Heaven
— Mishneh Torah, Laws of Charity, 10:8