ב"ה
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Friday, 8 Sivan, 5784

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

When Torah first entered our universe through its portal on Mount Sinai, its first word was an Egyptian word: “Anochi,” meaning “I.”

And indeed, when the angels claimed that Torah belonged in their ethereal domain, Moses demanded of them, “Did you descend to Egypt? Did you set your bloody hands to form a brick from straw and clay? Have you felt the sting of a taskmaster’s whip upon your sunburnt back? How could you have Torah?”

For to have Torah is to have G-d raw.

Not G‑d as an idea for the mind to grasp, not G-d as a transcendent spirit for the soul to find. No, G-d as He is beyond any description or name. As He is simply “I.”

And where will you grasp that I?

In the Egypt of life into which you were cast from birth. In your daily struggle to preserve your integrity, to save your soul from drowning in a world that no one can explain, where G-d appears at times entirely absent.

He is there. His “I” is there. And you will find Him there, as you bring Torah into that place.

“There is one short chapter of only a few words,” teaches the Talmud, “and upon it hangs the entire Torah.”

“In all your ways, know Him.”

In your ways, in your personal Egypt. Know Him—He who is beyond all knowing.

Likutei Sichot vol. 3, Yitro.