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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 26 - Hod sheb'Netzach
Tonight Count 27
Jewish History

1,500 Jewish books were confiscated in Frankfurt am Main, Germany at the instigation of an apostate (Meshumad) on the 11th of Iyar.

Anti Jewish riots (pogroms) continue to escalate in Russia and break out on the 11th of Iyar in Waslikow and Konotop. The Jews were blamed for the assassination of Czar Alexander II, who was assassinated by revolutionaries. The riots continued for three years across the entire Russia.

The Israeli Army defeated the advancing Syrian Army, following the shelling at the entrance of Deganya, which began at sunrise and lasted nine hours. It is considered the first Israeli victory following the start of the War of Independence.

Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the twenty-seventh day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall of the previous evening, we count the omer for tomorrow's date tonight, after nightfall: "Today is twenty-seven days, which are three weeks and six days, to the Omer." (If you miss the count tonight, you can count the omer all day tomorrow, but without the preceding blessing).

The 49-day "Counting of the Omer" retraces our ancestors' seven-week spiritual journey from the Exodus to Sinai. Each evening we recite a special blessing and count the days and weeks that have passed since the Omer; the 50th day is Shavuot, the festival celebrating the Giving of the Torah at Sinai.

Tonight's Sefirah: Yesod sheb'Netzach -- "Connection in Ambition"

The teachings of Kabbalah explain that there are seven "Divine Attributes" -- Sefirot -- that G-d assumes through which to relate to our existence: Chessed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut ("Love", "Strength", "Beauty", "Victory", "Splendor", "Foundation" and "Sovereignty"). In the human being, created in the "image of G-d," the seven sefirot are mirrored in the seven "emotional attributes" of the human soul: Kindness, Restraint, Harmony, Ambition, Humility, Connection and Receptiveness. Each of the seven attributes contain elements of all seven--i.e., "Kindness in Kindness", "Restraint in Kindness", "Harmony in Kindness", etc.--making for a total of forty-nine traits. The 49-day Omer Count is thus a 49-step process of self-refinement, with each day devoted to the "rectification" and perfection of one the forty-nine "sefirot."

Links:
How to count the Omer
The deeper significance of the Omer Count

Daily Thought

Often, anxiety takes root because a person’s external character is incompatible with his or her inner self.

The anxiety may dwell upon other issues and obsessions—but none of these are the true underlying cause.

Most souls can tolerate a few inconsistencies. But others are sensitive to every nuance.

As soon as some aspect of their lifestyle is not attuned to the purity of the essential self, the entire person is thrown off balance.

That is why, for a Jew, being more careful about the mitzvot will often diminish anxiety.

From a letter to a woman suffering anxiety.