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Sunday, 25 Tammuz, 5779

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Aharon Berachia ben Moshe of Modina (? - 1639) was an Italian Kabbalist and a student of Rabbi Menachem Azariah of Fano. At the request of the Burial Society at Mantua, he instituted rites for them. The author of many Kabbalistic works, he is perhaps best known for his work Ma'abar Yabbok, which contains mystical dissertations on purity and holiness. He also wrote additional prayers to be offered for the sick and the dead, as well as a code of conduct for their treatment. Many of the prayers recited at the gravesites of the deceased were composed by him.

Tradition has it that an angel called a "maggid" would come and study with him, similar to the angel that would visit Rabbi Yosef Caro.

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.