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Thursday, 11 Iyar, 5779

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.

R. Naftali of Ropshitz, a leading disciple of R. Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, the “Seer of Lublin,” was one of the prominent Rebbes in Galicia during the early nineteenth century. He passed away on 11 Iyar 5587 (1827).

Link: Resistance

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

Evil is darkness; nothing more than an absence of light.

It has no life of its own.

It is powered entirely by our fear of it, by our considering it a “something” that demands our response.

Evil is a terrorist, nursed on every spoonful of worry, encouraged with every glance of trepidation, fortified with every concession we make from our lives to acknowledge its threat—until it has soaked from us sufficient energy to rise brazenly and attack us with our own instruments.

So it is with the evil in the world, so it is with the destructive forces within each of us: When we stoop to conquer the evil within ourselves, we end up rolling with it in its mud.

To truly banish evil, you must march on the clouds and never look down. You must climb higher until you attain a place of light that leaves no crevice for evil to hide.

Lifted to that place, evil melts in surrender. For now it has fulfilled its purpose of being: to squeeze out the inner light of the human soul, a light that knows no bounds.

Mission accomplished, evil vanishes in the light it has called forth.

Likkutei Torah, Teitzei 35b; Maamar Ki Teitzei 5745; Torat Menachem 5751, vol. 4, pp. 213, 227.