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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Passing of the famed Torah scholar and mystic Rabbi Chayim ben Attar (1696-1743), author of the Ohr HaChayim commentary on the Torah. Born in Morocco, he also lived and taught in Algiers, Italy, Acco and Jerusalem, where he settled a year before his passing. Many stories are told of his holiness and greatness, and of the repeated unsuccessful attempts by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov to reach the Holy Land and meet with him in the belief that together they could bring the Moshiach and the final redemption.

R. Aryeh Leib was an outstanding scholar known for his diligence in study and penetrating analysis. He served as rabbi of Metz and authored Shaagas Aryeh, a collection of analytical discourses on the laws of Orach Chaim (daily life and the festivals). This classic work enjoys much fame and is indispensable for any serious student who desires to plumb the depths of Jewish law.

In addition to Shaagas Aryeh, R. Aryeh Leib authored Turei Even and Gevuras Ari, in-depth commentaries to a number of Talmudic tractates.

Link: Shaagas Aryeh

Daily Thought

Evil is darkness; nothing more than an absence of light.

It has no life of its own.

It is powered entirely by our fear of it, by our considering it a “something” that demands our response.

Evil is a terrorist, nursed on every spoonful of worry, encouraged with every glance of trepidation, fortified with every concession we make from our lives to acknowledge its threat—until it has soaked from us sufficient energy to rise brazenly and attack us with our own instruments.

So it is with the evil in the world, so it is with the destructive forces within each of us: When we stoop to conquer the evil within ourselves, we end up rolling with it in its mud.

To truly banish evil, you must march on the clouds and never look down. You must climb higher until you attain a place of light that leaves no crevice for evil to hide.

Lifted to that place, evil melts in surrender. For now it has fulfilled its purpose of being: to squeeze out the inner light of the human soul, a light that knows no bounds.

Mission accomplished, evil vanishes in the light it has called forth.

Likkutei Torah, Teitzei 35b; Maamar Ki Teitzei 5745; Torat Menachem 5751, vol. 4, pp. 213, 227.