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Shabbat, January 20, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Abraham of Kalisk (1741-1810) was a controversial figure in the 3rd generation of Chassidic leaders. In his youth, he was a study partner of Rabbi Elijah "the Gaon of Vilna", who led the initial opposition against Chassidism; but later Rabbi Abraham himself joined the the forbidden kat ("sect", as the Chassidic movement was derisively called by its opponents) and became a disciple of Rabbi DovBer, the Maggid of Mezeritch, the successor to Chassidism's founder, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. After Rabbi DovBer's passing in 1772, much of the opposition to Chassidism was directed against Rabbi Abraham's disciples, who, more than any other group within the movement, mocked the intellectual elitism of the establishment's scholars and communal leaders; even Rabbi Abraham's own colleagues were dismayed by the "antics" of some of his disciples. In 1777, Rabbi Abraham joined the first Chassidic "aliyah", in which a group of more than 300 Chassidim led by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk emigrated to the Holy Land. Rabbi Abraham passed away in Tiberias on the 4th of Shevat of the year 5570 from creation (1810 CE).

Rabbi Israel Abuchatzera (1890-1984), known as "Baba Sali," was born in Tafillalt, Morocco to the llustrious Abuchatzera family. From a young age he was renowned as a sage, miracle maker and master kabbalist. In 1964 he moved to the Holy Land, eventually settling in the southern development town he made famous, Netivot. He passed away in 1984 on the 4th of Shevat. His graveside in Netivot has become a holy site visited by thousands annually.

Laws and Customs

Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidim observe the special customs of the Shabbat prior to the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), which occurs next week, on the 10th of Shevat.

Link: A Letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe outlining his suggested observances for the Shabbat preceding Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's yahrtzeit.

Daily Thought

Cultivate the soul with hope; teach it to await the break of dawn.

Through its ordeals, the earth is softened to absorb the rains. Yet it still must hope—for this is a Spring that comes for those that long for it.

And so the sages say, “In the merit of hope, our parents were redeemed from Egypt.”

7 Cheshvan, 5746.