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Friday, July 18, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Avraham Chaim Na'eh (1890-1954) was born in Hebron to Rabbi Menachem Mendel Na'eh, a Lubavitcher chassid and dean of the Magen Avot, a yeshiva founded by the S'dei Chemed. With the outbreak of World War One, the Turks, who controlled the Land of Israel at the time, expelled anyone who was not a Turkish citizen. Most of the exiled Jews, including Rabbi Avraham Chaim, gathered in Alexandria, Egypt. During his time there, Rabbi Avraham Chaim founded Yeshivat Eretz Yisrael and wrote the halachic work Shenot Chaim, a concise digest of halachah for Sephardic Jews. In 1918, he returned to Palestine to work for the Edah HaChareidit (a prominent Orthodox communal organization), under Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld.

Rabbi Na'eh best known for his halachic works Ketzot ha-Shulchan and Shiurei Torah ("measurements of the Torah"), in which he converted archaic halachic measurements into modern terms. Contemporary halachic authorities follow his measurements to this day.

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

How will you fix a soul?

A soul doesn’t need fixing. It needs to be uncovered.

Blind yourself to its muddy crust. Dig deeply and deeper yet, sift through the darkened embers, search for a spark that still shines. Fan that spark until a flame appears, find the mitzvah that will serve as its oil and wick. Until all is consumed in the warmth of that flame.

For empathy is the redeemer of love, and love is the mother of all good deeds.

Hayom Yom, Sivan 1; Tanya, chapter 32.