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Shabbat, July 27, 2019

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

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim (“the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of the upcoming month of Av (also called "Menachem Av”), which falls on Friday of next week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. See molad times.

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Links: Shabbat Mevarchim; Tehillim (the Book of Psalms); The Farbrengen

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

Our souls are in exile within our bodies. Our people is in exile within a foreign world.

And so there are two things we must know:

That this is not our place.
And that hidden treasure lies buried here; for G‑d dwells in darkness.

If we remember only that this is not our place, we may remain strong, we may even shine in the darkness. But what profit will there be from our exile?

And if we remember only that treasure lies here, we will begin to believe that this is our place, and if so, of what use is the treasure?

Likkutei Sichot, vol. 15, p. 438; vol. 5, pp. 459–461.