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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The Frankist sect was created by Jacob Frank, who claimed to be the reincarnation of the false Messiah Shabbetai Zvi. In the mid-1700’s, he sought to create a new religion that would incorporate both Judaism and Christianity, leading to the formation of the Frankist sect, centered in Poland.

In 5519 (1759), the bishop of Lvov arranged for a debate between the Frankists and three prominent Jewish leaders: R. Israel of Mezhibuzh (the Baal Shem Tov), R. Chaim Rappaport, and R. Yitzchak Dovber Margulies. The four-day debate ended with a resounding victory for the rabbis, and the date was instituted as a day of rejoicing, celebrating the successful halt of the Frankists’ evil influence. (Hatamim, pp. 550, 558. See also Igros Kodesh, vol. 19, p. 81)

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

If it is not evil, we must use it for good.
If it can be raised higher, we cannot leave it below.

Everything He made, He made with purpose.

Torat Menachem 5713, Matot-Massei 4–5, and countless other instances.