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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Tammuz 28 is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (1759-1841) of Uhely, Hungary, author of Yismach Moshe and patriarch of the Hungarian Chassidic dynasties.

Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried (1804-1886) was born in Uzhhorod (Ungvar) in the Carpathian region of the Habsburg Empire (now Ukraine). When he was eight years old, Shlomo's father, Rabbi Yosef, passed way, and Ungvar's chief rabbi, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Heller, assumed legal guardianship of Shlomo. In 1830, he abandoned his work as a wine merchant and accepted the position of Rabbi of Brezovica (Brezevitz). In 1849, he returned to Ungvar to serve as a rabbinical judge. Realizing that the average Jew required a basic knowledge of practical halachah, Rabbi Ganzfried compiled the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, an abbreviated digest of Jewish law. To this day, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch remains a classic halachic work, and it has been translated into many languages.

In addition to the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, he authored many works including Kesset HaSofer, a halachic primer for scribes, and Pnei Shlomo, a commentary on the Talmud.

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

Why is there death in the world?
So that evil will not live forever.

Because, since we ate of the Tree of Knowledge, no one walks forward without stumbling, no one climbs without falling, no one does good all his life without causing some damage along the way.

Until, at the end, our lives are an absurd muddle of good and evil, inextricably bound.

With death, evil dies as well. The failures, the ugly acts and the damage done—all these wither and eventually perish.

But the good we have accomplished—and that we truly are—this lives forever.

Maamar Tziyon b’Mishpat 5736