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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 44 - Gevurah sheb'Malchut
Tonight Count 45
Jewish History

One day after Israeli forces liberated Eastern Jerusalem in the course of the Six-Day War, another of the holy cities, Hebron, was also liberated.

Following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, Jordan took over the control of Hebron along with the rest of the West Bank. During this time, Israelis were not allowed to enter the West Bank. The Jewish Quarter was destroyed, Jewish cemeteries were desecrated, 58 synagogues were destroyed and an animal pen was built on the ruins of the Patriarch Abraham Synagogue.

R. Meir of Premishlan was a famous chassidic master and a noted miracle worker. Although he lived in poverty, he exerted himself tirelessly for the needy and the suffering. His divine inspiration and his ready wit have become legendary.

Links: Connection, Horses

Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the forty-fifth 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 forty-five days, which are six weeks and three 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: Tifferet sheb'Malchut -- "Harmony in Receptiveness"

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

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

“These words that I command you today should be upon your heart.” (Deut. 6:6.)

“Every day, the words of the Torah must be new to you.” (Sifri, Rashi.)

Tradition is not life. Tradition preserves life. But it does not give life.

Goals are not life. Goals inspire life. But they are not life.

Life is here in this moment now. To be alive, every moment must be a moment that never happened before.

Which means that Torah must not be about tradition. It cannot be grounded on a memory of the past. Those are important, truly vital. But a Torah life cannot be built upon them.

Real life, Torah life, is about who you are now, where the core of your soul lies at this very moment.

For if it is not about the moment now, then it is not your life. And if it is not your life, then what is?

Maamar Tziyon BeMishpat 5736.