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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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

There are no things. There are only words. Not human words, but the divine words of creation telling a story, calling all into being.

The words become scattered and we no longer understand their meaning. They appear to us static and meaningless. As things. But they are not things. They are words in exile.

If so, their redemption lies in the story we tell with them.

Joy can create one story. Inspiration yet another. Reach to the divine spark within you, and a whole new story emerges.

What story will you tell with the scattered fragments of your life?

Torat Menachem 5713, Matot-Massei 4–5.