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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 49 - Malchut sheb'Malchut
Jewish History

The incident involving the mandrakes (dudaim) which Reuben, the eldest son of Jacob, found in the field "during the time of the wheat harvest"--recounted in Genesis 30:14-18--occurred on the fifth of Sivan of the year 2197 from creation (1568 BCE).

On this day, Moses made a covenant with the Jewish people at the foot of Mount Sinai at which the people declared, "All that G-d has spoken, we shall do and hear" (Exodus 24:7) committing themselves to observe the Torah's commandments ("do") and strive to comprehend them ("hear"), while pledging to "do" also before they "hear."

Links:
A Jew in a Jeep
Reasoning the Stone
Spiritual Modality for Behavior Modification
An Easy Life

On this day Rabbis Chayim and Yehoshua Reitzes were tortured and burned in Lvov, Poland after they were accused of having attempted to convince an apostate to return to Judaism.

Laws and Customs

When a festival day (yom tov) falls on a Friday -- as Shavuot does this year -- an "eruv tavshilin" (i.e., food for at least one "meal" that is set aside in advance for Shabbat) must be prepared prior to the festival, so that it should be permitted to prepare food for Shabbat during the festival.

For more on Eruv Tavshilin and how it is made click here

The Talmud relates that when G-d came to give the Torah to the People of Israel in the early morning of Sivan 6 (see "Today in Jewish History" for tomorrow), He found them sleeping. (The Chassidic masters explain that this was an attempt to connect to their subconscious, transcendent self in preparation for their reception of the divine wisdom.) To rectify this lapse, we spend the entire first night of Shavuot (which begins at nightfall tonight) studying Torah. The traditional Tikkun Leil Shavout ("Rectification for Shavuot Night") study program includes the opening and closing verses of each book of the Written Torah (Tanach), as well as of each Parshah; the entire Book of Ruth (see "Laws and Customs" for tomorrow); the opening and closing sections of each tractate of the Talmud; a list of the 613 mitzvot; and selected readings from the Zohar and other Kabbalistic works.

Daily Thought

The very first rule was made to be broken
—the rule that heaven is heaven and earth is earth and each must remain in its place.

The first to break that rule was the very One who made it,
when His glory descended upon Mount Sinai.
And He gave us a Torah so that we, too, could continue breaking that rule
—and all the rules that extend from it:

The rule that truth must remain in the mind,
but not descend into the heart;

That serenity and spirituality must remain in secluded places
and not enter your place of work;

That the innermost wisdom is to remain a secret of the wise
and not spill out onto the street;

That your challenges, your upbringing, your handicaps must hold you back
and not allow you to become who you really are.

All these and all their like are rules made to be broken,
and Torah is the key to unlock their chains.

Maamar Gal Einai 5737.