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Monday, July 27, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After a successful landing on the moon’s surface, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on our celestial neighbor, on July 21, corresponding to the Hebrew date of 6 Menachem Av.

Links: Retaining Gravity on the Moon’s Surface, The Astronaut, Orbiting the Moon

Laws and Customs

During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple. We abstain from meat and wine, music, haircutting, bathing for pleasure, and other joyous (and dangerous) activities. (The particular mourning customs vary from community to community, so consult a competent halachic authority for details.)

Consumption of meat and wine is permitted on Shabbat, or at a seudat mitzvah (obligatory festive meal celebrating the fulfillment of certain mitzvot) such as a brit (circumcision), or a siyum celebrating the completion of a course of Torah study (i.e., a complete Talmudic tractate). The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory initiated the custom of conducting or participating in a siyum on each of the Nine Days (even if one does not avail oneself of the dispensation to eat meat).

Citing the verse "Zion shall be redeemed with mishpat [Torah] and its returnees with tzedakah," (Isaiah 1:27) 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:
Nine Days laws and customs
Daily live siyum broadcasts
Learn about the Holy Temple in Jerusalem

Daily Thought

One who is full of himself leaves no room for anyone else. He despises another person simply for the space that other person consumes.

He may give reasons for his disdain, but the reasons are secondary. It is senseless, meaningless.

This is the root of all intolerance and hatred. It is what holds the human soul in exile from the garden. It is the core of all evil.

Its only cure is in senseless acts of caring, in opening your heart to the other guy regardless of how different and distant the other guy may be.

Senseless kindness.

Kuntres Hechaltzu 5699.