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Shabbat, July 5, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz of Nikelsburg (1730-1805) was the rabbi of Frankfurt and the author of Sefer Hafla'ah and Sefer HaMikneh -- commentaries on the Talmud -- and Panim Yafot, an exegesis on the Torah. Rabbi Pinchas and his brother Rabbi Shmuel Shmelke were students of the Mezritcher Maggid. They were amongst the first adherents to the Chassidic movement to hold rabbinic posts in Germany. The famed Rabbi Moshe Sofer, known as the Chatam Sofer, considered Rabbi Pinchas to be one of his main teachers.

Link: The Rabbi and the Ox

Laws and Customs

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 Five.

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 5

Once a month, as the moon waxes in the sky, we recite a special blessing called Kiddush Levanah, "the sanctification of the moon," praising the Creator for His wondrous work we call astronomy.

Kiddush Levanah is recited after nightfall, usually on Saturday night. The blessing is concluded with songs and dancing, because our nation is likened to the moon—as it waxes and wanes, so have we throughout history. When we bless the moon, we renew our trust that very soon, the light of G‑d's presence will fill all the earth and our people will be redeemed from exile.

Though Kiddush Levanah can be recited as early as three days after the moon's rebirth, the kabbalah tells us it is best to wait a full week, till the seventh of the month. Once 15 days have passed, the moon begins to wane once more and the season for saying the blessing has passed.

Links:

Brief Guide to Kiddush Levanah: Thank G‑d for the Moon!
More articles on Kiddush Levanah from our knowledgebase.

Daily Thought

As the entirety of the sun is reflected in every glistening droplet of water, so is the entirety of life reflected in your individual lifetime.

And in each of your years, you pass through the entirety of your life.

And in every day of your life you are born, live your life through, and pass on from this world.

All your life lies in the hands of today.

Torat Menachem 5748, page 573.