Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.
To view Shabbat Times click here to set your location

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
To view Halachic Times click here to set your location
Jewish History

R. Shimshon of Ostropolle was a saintly individual who was greatly revered both in his lifetime and beyond. It is told that an angel called a maggid would come and reveal secrets of Torah to him, and that he merited revelations from Elijah the Prophet. He himself records kabbalistic insights that were revealed to him in dreams.

R. Shimshon authored Dan Yadin, a kabbalistic commentary, as well as numerous other unpreserved works. Additionally, many of his interpretations that were preserved orally have been collected and published.

R. Shimshon died a martyr’s death at the hands of a Cossack mob during the Chmielnicki Massacres, while wrapped in his tallit and tefillin.

Link: Angels of the Exodus

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

From the moment that they were sundered apart, the earth has craved to reunite with heaven: physical with spiritual, body with soul, the life that breathes within us with the transcendental that lies beyond life, beyond being.

And yet more so does the Infinite Light yearn to find itself within that world, that pulse of life, within finite, earthly existence. There, more than any spiritual world, is the place of G‑d’s delight.

Towards this ultimate union all of history flows, all living things crave, all human activities are subliminally directed. When it will finally occur, it will be the quintessence of every marriage that has ever occurred.

May it be soon in our times, sooner than we can imagine.

Sefer ha-Sichot 5750, vol. 1, pp. 103ff.