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Monday, November 28, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

A delegation from Babylonia put forth a query to the prophet Zechariah, asking whether the fast of the Ninth of Av was still in effect, now that the Second Temple had been built. In response, Zechariah transmitted G‑d’s message that it was not fasting that was most important, but to uphold justice, truth, kindness and compassion.

Zechariah also foretold what will occur to the fast days in the Messianic era: “So says the L‑rd of Hosts: The fast of the fourth month [the seventeenth of Tammuz], the fast of the fifth month [the ninth of Av], the fast of the seventh month [the third of Tishrei], and the fast of the tenth month [the tenth of Teves] will be to the House of Judah for rejoicing, happiness, and festivals.” (Zechariah 7–8)

After a three-month-long unsuccessful battle and siege waged by Suleiman Pasha, governor of Damascus, against the sheikh of Tiberias, the governor finally left the city. To mark their salvation and the numerous miracles that had occurred throughout the siege, the Jews of Tiberias, led by the venerable R. Chaim Abulafia (1660–1744), established this date as a yearly festival of rejoicing and praise to G‑d. (Yalkut Me’am Lo’ez, Esther 9:28)

Daily Thought

You might think that divine sparks are meted out by simple protocol: The lowlier the creation, the lowlier the divine spark it holds.

Just the opposite: Only the highest sparks could descend to the lowest places and retain their power to sustain a being.

Those are the sparks remaining to be rescued today.

Likkutei Torah, Tzav 13b and Re’eh 19c. Maamar Beshaah She’alah 5729:6.