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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 40 - Hod sheb'Yesod
Tonight Count 41
Jewish History

During the First Crusade, the crusaders are locked out of Cologne, Germany and the local Jews are saved, following the orders of the local bishop to close the gates to the city. (see "Today in Jewish History" for Iyar 8)

In a number of local provinces, where the local bishop tried to avert the masses from harming the Jews, the Bishop would have to escape for his own safety.

1,200 Jews were massacred by a Christian and Muslim mob attack on the Jewish section of Toledo, Spain, on this date in 1355.

R. Yaakov Lorberbaum was a well-known halachic authority who served as rabbi in the Eastern European cities of Kalish, Lissa, and Stryi. Among the famous and widely-studied works of this prolific author are Chavos Daas and Nesivos Hamishpat, both in-depth commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law).

Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the forty-first 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-one days, which are five 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'Yesod -- "Connection in Connection"

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

“I will waken the morning star!” (Psalms 57:9)

So said King David, “Rather than the morning awakening me, I will awaken the morning.” (Jerusalem Talmud)

Wake up in the morning and decide what sort of a day today will be.

Don’t awaken because it is day. Let it be day because you are awake.

Because if you are awake only because the sun told you to rise, then you are still asleep.

The sensation of wakefulness—that is the day suspending you above your bed. The ‘you’ inside still slumbers.

But if the sun shines because you are awake, then you are living a real day.

Wake up in the morning and tell the sun to rise. Decide what sort of a day it will be and make it happen.