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Monday, July 11, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Tammuz 12 is the birthday the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch (1880-1950). This is also the day on which he was liberated from exile to the Soviet gulag 47 years later (see below).

Links:
A short biography
More on Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch

On the 12th of Tammuz of 1927, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, was officially granted release from his sentence of exile to Kastroma in the interior of Russia.

Twenty-seven days earlier, the Rebbe had been arrested by agents of the GPU and the Yevsektzia ("Jewish Section" of the Communist Party) for his activities to preserve Judaism throughout the Soviet empire and sentenced to death, G-d forbid. International pressure forced the Soviets to commute the sentence to exile and, subsequently, to release him completely. The actual release took place on Tammuz 13, and Tammuz 12-13 is celebrated as a "festival of liberation" by the Chabad-Lubavitch community.

Tammuz 12 is also Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's birthday (see above)

Links:
The Rebbe's Prison Diary
The Soviet war on Jewry

R. Jacob ben Asher, son of R. Asher ben Yechiel (the Rosh), was one of the most prominent Torah scholars in medieval Europe. His classic work on Jewish law, Arba’ah Turim (known also as Tur), covers every area of Jewish life (in the post-Temple era), presenting the various opinions of previous authorities along with the author’s own decisions. A host of commentaries were written on this work, including one by R. Yosef Caro and another by R. Moshe Isserlis. These two commentaries formed the basis for the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), the definitive guide to Jewish observance until today.

R. Jacob also authored a popular commentary on the Torah, uncovering layers of hidden meaning in the text by way of gematria (and other close analysis of the texts).

Link: Rabbi Jacob ben Asher

Laws and Customs
In Chabad practice, Tachanun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted today.
Daily Thought

If every blade of grass and every speeding electron is directed with meaning and purpose by the One who created them, all the more so your thoughts and decisions. You only need to put aside your own self-interest, resolve to do the right thing, and His holy hand guides you on the right path.

This is what confidence in G‑d is all about: A conviction that since He is the essence of good, therefore all things are for the good—the obvious good. Including your own sincere decisions.

If so, what are you worried about? Why are you confused? Even when your own mind determines what to do and how—even then He is there.