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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

R. Shimshon of Ostropolle was a saintly individual who was greatly revered both in his lifetime and beyond. It is told that an angel called a maggid would come and reveal secrets of Torah to him, and that he merited revelations from Elijah the Prophet. He himself records kabbalistic insights that were revealed to him in dreams.

R. Shimshon authored Dan Yadin, a kabbalistic commentary, as well as numerous other unpreserved works. Additionally, many of his interpretations that were preserved orally have been collected and published.

R. Shimshon died a martyr’s death at the hands of a Cossack mob during the Chmielnicki Massacres, while wrapped in his tallit and tefillin.

Link: Angels of the Exodus

Laws and Customs

During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple. We abstain from meat and wine, music, haircutting, bathing for pleasure, and other joyous (and dangerous) activities. (The particular mourning customs vary from community to community, so consult a competent halachic authority for details.)

Consumption of meat and wine is permitted on Shabbat, or at a seudat mitzvah (obligatory festive meal celebrating the fulfillment of certain mitzvot) such as a brit (circumcision), or a siyum celebrating the completion of a course of Torah study (i.e., a complete Talmudic tractate). The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory initiated the custom of conducting or participating in a siyum on each of the Nine Days (even if one does not avail oneself of the dispensation to eat meat).

Citing the verse "Zion shall be redeemed with mishpat [Torah] and its returnees with tzedakah," (Isaiah 1:27) 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:
Nine Days laws and customs
Daily live siyum broadcasts
Learn about the Holy Temple in Jerusalem

Daily Thought

The times in which our generation lives
are not ordinary times.
We dwell on the interface between two worlds
—a world as it was
and a world as it is meant to be.

Everything is in place,
all the infrastructure to bind the world together as one,
the technology by which all of humanity
can share deep wisdom,
all that is needed so that the secret of oneness
can be grasped within the human mind.

The stage is set.
All that’s left
is for us to open our eyes.

Likutei Sichot vol. 15, pp. 42-48. Sefer HaSichot 5752, p. 165