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Monday, February 18, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

R. Yehudah HaChassid—the pious—was held in high esteem for his piety and saintliness. He authored Sefer Chassidim, a collection of ethical and halachic teachings that is widely studied to this day. The kabbalistic instructions included in his so-called “testament” are accepted and practiced in many communities.

Links: Rabbi Judah HaChassid; Why Don’t Jews Write ‘This Book Belongs to…’?

Laws and Customs
Starting in the afternoon, Tachanun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.
Daily Thought

There is a place—the “fiftieth gate,” they call it—so high that all things are equally nothing from there. There is no good, no evil, nothing can be added or taken away, the righteous are dust, the wicked are dust, nothing is of consequence, all is but dust.

Drunk with the joy of Purim, a Jew travels higher and higher until he reaches that place. And there he proclaims that the oppressed have been saved; the wicked overthrown; and light, joy, happiness and peace rule throughout the universe.

“As for this high place,” he declares, “I am not impressed. It too was created for the purpose of our joy below!”

Its secret exposed, the fiftieth gate itself is redeemed.

Purim 5713.