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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Yaakov ben Meir Tam, known as the "Rabbenu Tam," was one of Rashi's illustrious grandsons. During the Second Crusade, on the second day of the holiday of Shavuot, the Crusaders entered his hometown of Ramerupt, and pillaged and massacred many Jews.

They broke into Rabbenu Tam's house, plundered all his wealth, and seriously wounded Rabbenu Tam. On the next day, the 8th of Sivan, Rabbenu Tam escaped Rameru and the clutches of the Crusaders.

Two years later he completed his famous treatise on Jewish ritual and ethics, Sefer Hayashar.

Links:
Rabbi Yaakov ben Meir, the Rabbenu Tam
The Crusades

Laws and Customs

The day following a festival is called Isru Chag ("tied to the festival"). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted through the 12th of Sivan.

On Isru Chag, It is customary to hold a kinus Torah, a public gathering in which Torah thoughts are shared and discussed.

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.