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Shabbat, 11 Av, 5780

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In 1733, the Persian conqueror Nader Shah Afshar laid siege to Ottoman-held Baghdad. Knowing that Persian rule would not bode well for them, the Jewish community prayed for an Ottoman victory. On 11 Menachem Av, an Ottoman force led by Topal Osman Pasha drove away the Persian forces and the siege was lifted. The Jewish community commemorated this day each year, refraining from reciting the penitential prayers of tachanun.

R. Hillel of Paritch was one of the outstanding followers of the second and third Rebbes of Lubavitch, R. DovBer and R. Menachem Mendel Schneersohn. He was an exceptional scholar and served as rabbi of Paritch and then of Babroisk. Additionally, he would make a yearly visit on behalf of the Rebbe to the Jewish colonies in the Kherson region, teaching them Chassidut and inspiring their residents to increase in their observance of the mitzvot.

R. Hillel was known for his scrupulous adherence to every detail of Jewish law. He authored Pelach Harimon, a collection of sermons on chassidic philosophy, and composed a number of heartfelt tunes sung often at farbrengens until today.

Links: The Prodigy Under the Bed, R. Hillel’s Promise, R. Mordechai Yoel’s Stories.

Hear a tune composed by R. Hillel: Nigun Dveikus

Laws and Customs

The Shabbat after the Ninth of Av is called Shabbat Nachamu ("Shabbat of Consolation") after the opening words of the day's reading from the prophets ("haftara"). This is the first of the series of readings known as "The Seven of Consolation" read in the seven weeks from the Ninth of Av to Rosh Hashanah.

Links:
Seven Degrees of Consolation
Consolation
Shabbat Nachmu

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 Three.

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 3

Daily Thought

People ask, “But how could you see good in the future when so much evil dominates—and it grows day by day?”

But such is the order of things: Darkness was placed in the world only to challenge light. As the light intensifies, the darkness thickens in defiance.