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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz of Nikelsburg (1730-1805) was the rabbi of Frankfurt and the author of Sefer Hafla'ah and Sefer HaMikneh -- commentaries on the Talmud -- and Panim Yafot, an exegesis on the Torah. Rabbi Pinchas and his brother Rabbi Shmuel Shmelke were students of the Mezritcher Maggid. They were amongst the first adherents to the Chassidic movement to hold rabbinic posts in Germany. The famed Rabbi Moshe Sofer, known as the Chatam Sofer, considered Rabbi Pinchas to be one of his main teachers.

Link: The Rabbi and the Ox

The Jewish community of Ostroh (in what is now western Ukraine) was miraculously spared when a Russian army led by General Suvorov attempted to breach its walls, claiming Polish insurgents were present inside. To commemorate the miracle, the day of 7 Tammuz was established as a local day of rejoicing, and a special scrollin which the story was inscribed was read each year on this date.

According to legend, two cannons that struck the great Maharsha synagogue caused no harm. The two cannons were thereupon displayed in the synagogue for all to see. (Yalkut Volhynia,issues 2–3)

Link: Other Purims

Laws and Customs

Once a month, as the moon waxes in the sky, we recite a special blessing called Kiddush Levanah, "the sanctification of the moon," praising the Creator for His wondrous work we call astronomy.

Kiddush Levanah is recited after nightfall, usually on Saturday night. The blessing is concluded with songs and dancing, because our nation is likened to the moon—as it waxes and wanes, so have we throughout history. When we bless the moon, we renew our trust that very soon, the light of G‑d's presence will fill all the earth and our people will be redeemed from exile.

Though Kiddush Levanah can be recited as early as three days after the moon's rebirth, the kabbalah tells us it is best to wait a full week, till the seventh of the month. Once 15 days have passed, the moon begins to wane once more and the season for saying the blessing has passed.

Links:

Kiddush Levana: Sanctification of the Moon
Brief Guide to Kiddush Levanah: Thank G‑d for the Moon!

Daily Thought

Everything was created as a means to know G‑d.

Every discovery we have ever made, each of our inventions, was planted here in the six days of creation in order that we utilize it for a G‑dly purpose.

Likutei Sichot, vol. 15, Noach 2.