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Friday, July 25, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History
After having been allowed back into France in the year 1315 (after the expulsion in 1306 by Philip IV), the Jews were once again expelled from France by Charles IV, who thus broke the pledge made by his predecessors in 1315 that the Jews would be able to stay in France for at least 12 years.
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

In Solomon’s Temple, there were two places reserved for the Holy Ark:
One in the Chamber of the Holy of Holies,
and one hidden deep beneath that chamber.

There are two places to find G‑d’s presence in all its glory.

One is in the most holy of chambers, beyond the place of light and heavenly incense. There G‑d Himself could be found by the most perfect of mortals on the most sublime day of the year.

Today, we cannot enter that place. But there is another place, beyond catacombs and convoluted mazes, deep within the bowels of the earth—and yet always accessible to those who will make the journey.

There, those whose faces are charred with the ashes of failure, their hands bloody from scraping through dirt and stone, their clothes torn from falling again and again, and their hearts ripped by bitter tears—there, in that subterranean darkness, they are blinded by the light of the hidden things of G‑d . . .

. . . until that Presence will shine for all of us, forever.

Likkutei Sichot, vol. 21, pp. 156ff.