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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Every evening, the priest would kindle the seven lights of the menorah in the Holy Temple. Miraculously, although six of the seven candles would burn out, the western lamp would remain lit until the following evening. (See link below for the exact identity of the western lamp.)

During the reign of the idolatrous King Ahaz (father of the pious King Hezekiah), this miracle discontinued. The first time the western lamp was found to have extinguished was on 18 Menachem Av (or, according to other versions, 17 Menachem Av). (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:2)

Link: Spiritual Space

Sixty-seven Jewish men, women and children were slaughtered, and scores wounded, raped and maimed, by their Arab neighbors in the city of Hebron, who rioted for three days amid cries of "Slaughter the Jews." The killings began on Friday afternoon, 17 Av, and most of the victims lost their lives on Shabbat, 18 Av. The survivors were forced to evacuate to Jerusalem, and the ancient Jewish community of Hebron, which had lived in relative peace in the city for hundreds of years, was not revived until after Israel's capture of Hebron in the 1967 Six Day war.

Link: The Hebron Massacre

Daily Thought

And these words with which I connect with you today… (Deut. 6:6)

Every day these words should be just as new for you as if they were given today. (Sifri)

How could the same mitzvah you did yesterday be new to you today? The same words of Torah as though you never knew them before? The same prayer as though you never said it before?

Through a simple meditation on what is happening when you do that mitzvah, when you study those words, when you pour out your heart in your prayer.

Contemplate that the entire universe is but a glimmer of G‑d’s infinite light. Yet, in this mitzvah, you hold the Creator Himself in your hands. As you learn His Torah, your soul joins with His very essence. In your prayer, you and He are alone as one.

It makes no difference that you feel nothing, that you are not awake to the glory of this moment, that the physical body does not allow you to perceive reality as it is. One day you will see this moment now from a place far beyond this coarse world.

But then it will be only a memory, a souvenir.

Now you have the real thing.

Because, says G‑d, today, in the moment of this mitzvah now, I, just I, beyond any name or definition, I connect with you.

And such a moment is a moment beyond time.

Maamar Tzion Bamishpat 5736.