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Thursday, May 20, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Yaakov Chaim Sofer, better known as the Kaf Hachaim (the name of the monumental halachic work which he authored), was born in Baghdad in 1870. In his youth he studied Torah under the Sephardic greats of the times, such as the Ben Ish Chai.

In the beginning of the 20th century Rabbi Yaakov Chaim emigrated to the Land of Israel, and settled in Jerusalem. There he became renowned as a great kabbalist as well as a recognized halachic authority. He authored an eight-volume book on Jewish law, with a special focus on Jewish law and customs from a mystical viewpoint.

He passed away on the 9th of Sivan in Jerusalem and was buried on the Mount of Olives.

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.