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Shabbat, July 19, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The noted Kabbalist Rabbi Eliyahu ben Moshe Loanz, known as "Rabbi Eliyahu Baal Shem" of Worms, Germany, passed away on the 21st of Tammuz of the year 5396 from creation (1636 CE). He was a grandson of the famed shtadlan (Jewish activist) R. Joselman of Rosheim, and the author of Michlal Yofi commentary on Ecclesiastes.

Laws and Customs

During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we study a weekly chapter of the Talmud's Ethics of the Fathers ("Avot") each Shabbat afternoon; this week we study Chapter One.

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 1

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.