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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Passing of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (1522?-1570) of Safed, the Holy Land, known as the "Ramak", authoritative Kabbalist and author of Pardes Rimonim.

Links: The Ramak

Laws and Customs

During the Three Weeks, from 17th of Tamuz to the 9th of Av, we commemorate the conquest of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Holy Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people.

Weddings and other joyful events are not held during this period; like mourners, we do not cut our hair, and various pleasurable activities are limited or proscribed. (The particular mourning customs vary from community to community, so consult a competent halachic authority for details.)

Citing the verse (Isaiah 1:27) "Zion shall be redeemed with mishpat [Torah] and its returnees with tzedakah," the Rebbe urged that we increase in Torah study (particularly the study of the laws of the Holy Temple) and charity during this period.

Links:
The Three Weeks

Daily Thought

“Why was the human being created as an individual? To teach you that one who destroys a single human life is as though he has destroyed an entire world. And one who saves a single human life is as though he has saved an entire world.”
—Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.

Simple arithmetic does not apply when dealing with human lives. Each individual equals an entire world.

The Talmud provides a practical application:

A caravan traveling on the road is accosted by strangers who tell them, “Give us one of you and we will kill him, and if you refuse, we will kill all of you.”

Ignoring the math, the Talmud rules: Even if all of them will be killed, they must not hand over a single soul.

Why? Because each human life contains at its core the very essence of G‑d. As G‑d is infinite, so the value of a human life.

And one infinity is not any less than a hundred, a thousand, or even eight billion infinities.

Reshimot 123. For further elucidation, see How Each of Us Contains All of Us.