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Monday, August 5, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

R. Menachem Azariah of Fano, Italy, was a famed Talmudic scholar and kabbalist. A prolific author, he composed numerous works in both kabbalah and Jewish law, the most famous of which is Asarah Maamaros, a collection of kabbalistic treatises. Additionally, he used his wealth to obtain and publish the works of other great sages (such as R. Yosef Caro’s Kessef Mishneh).

R. Menachem Azariah was a devoted follower of the great kabbalist R. Moshe Cordovero, whom he also lent financial support. Later, he was introduced to the kabbalistic doctrines of R. Yitzchak Luria (the Arizal), which he embraced wholeheartedly as well.

Link: Rabbi Menachem Azariah de Fano

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