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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On this date, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, who supported and aided the Czar's army during the Napoleonic wars, was forced to flee his hometown from Napoleon's forces which were advancing through White Russia in their push toward Moscow. After five months of wanderings he arrived in the town of Pyena. There he fell ill and, weakened by the tribulations of his flight and the harsh Russian winter, passed away on the 24th of Tevet, 5573 (1812).

Links: The Rebbe vs Napoleon

R. Eliezer Zusia Portugal (1898–1982), the Skulener Rebbe, is best known for his superhuman efforts to rescue Jewish orphans and refugees in Eastern Europe before, during, and after World War II and his continuing support of them. He immigrated to the United States in 1960, after imprisonment in Rumania and international efforts to secure his release. He was renowned for his lengthy prayers and the beautiful tunes he composed.

Links: The Father of Orphans, The Extra Matzah

Laws and Customs
Starting in the afternoon, Tachanun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.
Daily Thought

From a letter to the president of the Council for Polish-Jewish relations:

The creation of the human being differed from the creation of other living species. Among other things, the human being was created as a single individual, unlike other living creatures created in pairs.

One of the reasons, our sages declare, is that it was G-d’s design that humans everywhere and in all times should know that each and all descend from the one and the same single progenitor—a fully developed human being created in the image of G-d—so that no human being could claim superior ancestral origin, and this would make it easier to cultivate a true sense of kinship in all interhuman relationships.

Letter to the president of the Council for Polish-Jewish Relations, Office of the President of the Republic of Poland, October 23, 1991. The source of the concept expressed is in Sanhedrin 37a and Tosefta Sanhedrin 8:3.