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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In 1843, the Interior Ministry of the Czarist government convened a rabbinical conference in the Russian capital of Petersburg, to the end of imposing changes in Jewish communal life and religious practice. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866, known as the "Tzemach Tzedek" after his Halachic works by that name) was invited; as a primary figure in the leadership of Russian Jewry, his compliance was required to lend legitimacy to the government's proposed "reforms". In the course of the conference, the Tzemach Tzeddek was placed under arrest no less than 22 (!) times for his refusal to cooperate. When he finally departed Petersburg on the 26th of Av, he had successfully prevented the government's disruption of traditional Jewish life.

Links:
A Brief Biography of the Tzemach Tzedek
More on the Tzemach Tzeddek

R. Yoel Teitelbaum was the founding rebbe of the Satmar chassidic dynasty, named after the town of Satmar (or Satu Mare) in what is today northwestern Romania. After World War II (see entry for 21 Kislev), he relocated to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he continued to lead his thousands of followers. He passed away on 26 Menachem Av, 5739 (1979).

Daily Thought

The Zohar tells that there is a lower world—our world—and there is a higher world.

Our world must continuously receive from that higher world. But how it receives depends upon our state of mind.

If we glow with joy and vitality, then that higher world as well shines upon us in full glory and abundance.

But if we wallow in depression and anxiety, then we can receive only the metered trickle that squeezes through such a constricted channel.

Depression, anxiety and pessimism—these all damage the channels of blessing from Above.

That is why King David said, “Serve G‑d with joy!” Because your joy here draws upon you another joy from above.