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Monday, May 3, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 36 - Chessed sheb'Yesod
Tonight Count 37
Jewish History

Karl Hermann Frank, the German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia during World War II, was hanged on this date in 1946.

Frank surrendered to the American army on May 9, 1945 and was extradited and tried in a court in Prague. Following his conviction for war crimes, Frank was sentenced to death and hanged in the courtyard of the Pankrac prison in Prague as 5,000 onlookers witnessed his death.

The Chabad-Lubavitch village in Israel, Kfar Chabad, was founded by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, on Iyar 21 of 1949. The first settlers were mostly recent immigrants from the Soviet Union, survivors of the terrors of World War II and Stalinist oppression. Kfar Chabad, which is located about five miles south of Tel Aviv and includes agricultural lands as well as numerous educational institutions, serves as the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement in the Holy Land.

Link: The Rebbe Who Saved a Village

Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the thirty-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 thirty-seven days, which are five weeks and two 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: Gevurah sheb'Yesod -- "Restraint 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

Our Torah tells you that you must not fear. Even if an army is charging towards you, you must not fear. For there is no danger worse than fear.

But you are only human. Do you truly have control over the dread and panic pounding in your heart?

Yes. Not directly, but through the power of your mind. If you will choose not to dwell on those things that instill panic and dread, those emotions will wither and fade.

And the choice is yours. What do you want to speak about? What do you want to think about?

For the thoughts of your mind are the conduit of life for the emotions of your heart.

Igrot Kodesh, Tzemach Tzedek, Igeret 16.