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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Laws and Customs

Today is the first of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of Kislev (when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month's Rosh Chodesh).

Special portions are added to the daily prayers: Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited -- in its "partial" form -- following the Shacharit morning prayer, and the Yaaleh V'yavo prayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals; the additional Musaf prayer is said (when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat, special additions are made to the Shabbat Musaf). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.

Many have the custom to mark Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal and reduced work activity. The latter custom is prevalent amongst women, who have a special affinity with Rosh Chodesh -- the month being the feminine aspect of the Jewish Calendar.

Links: The 29th Day; The Lunar Files

Daily Thought

One time my kids outsmarted me. I had them in the van, and we pulled into a parking lot where a ferris wheel and other rides had been set up. But I had no time to take kids on merry-go-rounds on a hot summer day. I had work to do.

And then I heard from the back seat:

“Oh, thank you Daddy! You’re the best daddy in the whole world! You brought us for a surprise! Yay Daddy!”

Five minutes later, I was frying on the hot pavement, at the foot of a ferris wheel, waving to my kids.

It was then that I understood a teaching of the Rebbe:

Before we make any request, we praise the Master of the Universe.

We praise Him for the beauty of the world He has made.

We praise Him for rescuing the widow, the orphan and the oppressed.

We praise Him for the simple things, the lowly things, the everyday things that go unnoticed.

In that way, we are bringing Him into our world, and our prayers have an effect in this world.

Maamar Lehavin Inyan haRashbi.