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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

According to Rabbi Judah (cited in the Talmud, Bava Metzia 106b), Tevet 29 marks the end of winter. (As per Genesis 8:22, the year consists of six 2-month "seasons": seedtime, harvest, cold, heat, summer and winter.)

Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, known in recent years as "the eldest of the Kabbalists," in the Holy Land, was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1898. As a youth, he studied under the great "Ben Ish Chai" (Rabbi Yosef Chaim of  Baghdad, 1840-1913) and was regarded as an illu (prodigy) by the sages of the venerable Baghdad Jewish community. In 1922, Rabbi Yitzchak emigrated to the Holy Land and joined the ranks of the Jerusalem Kabbalists, even as he earned his living for many years as a bookbinder. Over the years his fame grew, and thousands flocked to him to receive his counsel and blessing.

Rabbi Kaduri passed away on the 29th of Tevet of 2006, age 108. Hundreds of thousands attended his funeral in Jerusalem.

Link: Visit by a Sephardic Leader

In 1793, Tripoli (in what is now Libya) fell under the rule of the cruel Ali Burghul, who took advantage of divisions within the local leadership to take control of the city. Burghul terrorized the city’s inhabitants—especially the Jews—with excessive taxes and unjust executions. Among those executed was the son of R. Abraham Khalfon, the head of the Jewish community.

In 1795, a local Jew helped negotiate an agreement between the opposing factions, and on 29 Teves they succeeded in driving Burghul out of the city. The community celebrated this day each year as a day of rejoicing, and would recite a special hymn recounting the miracle (printed in Se’u Zimrah, pp. 191ff.).

The community of Tripoli kept a similar date of rejoicing one week earlier, on 23 Teves, commemorating the date (in 1705) when a siege that had been placed on the city by the ruler of Tunisia was lifted.

Laws and Customs
Starting in the afternoon, Tachanun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.
Daily Thought

Every day, transcend the limitations and boundaries set for you by this world. Make every day another Exodus from Egypt.

But with a difference:

Egypt had to be broken. The world must be repaired.

We left Egypt. We must stay within the world.

This is the paradoxical path of inner truth: Remain within the world, but escape its grasp.

Because in truth the world is good. But as long as you allow the world to dictate your boundaries, it will not show you its truth.

Hayom Yom, Tevet 25.