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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

When the crusaders captured Jerusalem during the First Crusade, the Jews of Jerusalem fled into a synagogue. The crusaders then set flame to the synagogue, burning alive all the Jewish men, women, and children who had taken refuge there. All Jews were barred from living in the city of Jerusalem for the following 88 years.

Link:

The Crusades

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

The fundamental principle of a free society, the basis to the absolute rejection of totalitarianism and fascism for which we fought a world war, is this:

The individual is sacred. Nothing, not the good of the state, not even the lives of the majority, can override the sanctity of the individual.

What is it that renders an individual sacred?

The breath of G‑d within him. That which we call the divine image.

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