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Friday, February 16, 2018

Rosh Chodesh Adar
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The 9th plague to strike the Egyptians for their refusal to release the Children of Israel from slavery -- a thick darkness that blanketed the land so that "no man saw his fellow, and no man could move from his place" (Exodus 10:23) -- commenced on the 1st of Adar, six weeks before the Exodus.

Link: More on The Plague of Darkness

The highly regarded Biblical commentator, Rabbi Avraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra (1089?-1164CE), passed away on Adar 1, 4924.

Adar 1 is also the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the great Halachist Rabbi Shabtai Hakohen Katz (1621-1663?), author of the Siftei Cohen commentary on Rabbi Yosef Caro's Code of Jewish Law. He is known as "Shach" -- an acronym of the name of his work, which serves to this day as a primary source of Halachah (Jewish law).

Laws and Customs

Today is the second of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of Adar (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

"When Adar enters," the Talmud declares, "we increase in joy." For this is "the month that was transformed for them from sorrow to joy, from mourning to festivity" (Esther 9:22) by the great miracle and victory of Purim. Our sages advise that the month of Adar is an auspicious time for the Jewish people, so that if a Jew is faced with a challenging event (i.e., a court case, a medical procedure, etc.) he should endeavor to schedule it during Adar.

Links: 4 Reasons to be Happy; more on joy

Daily Thought

Hyper-creative, infinite and original designer of innumerable worlds seeks meaningful relationship with finite, corporeal being with intent to build a home together. Heaven is nice, but it’s time to get down to earth.

Blueprints, materials, real estate … everything is prepared and ready for implementation. All that’s needed is your willingness to take this forward—with passion, with love, with wisdom, with wonder—and with total dedication to invest every talent you have into making something truly awesome happen.

Together, we can make the world beautiful again. Even more beautiful than when I first made it. Way more.

We will fit infinite light into finite space. We’ll reveal transcendent oneness in fine, precise detail. We’ll unveil divine beauty in everyday human life.

I’ve got the resources, you provide the human life.

Just call, wherever you are, however you are. I’ve been waiting to meet you for way too long.