ב"ה
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Shabbat, 18 Av, 5783

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Every evening, the priest would kindle the seven lights of the menorah in the Holy Temple. Miraculously, although six of the seven candles would burn out, the western lamp would remain lit until the following evening. (See link below for the exact identity of the western lamp.)

During the reign of the idolatrous King Ahaz (father of the pious King Hezekiah), this miracle discontinued. The first time the western lamp was found to have extinguished was on 18 Menachem Av (or, according to other versions, 17 Menachem Av). (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:2)

Link: Spiritual Space

Sixty-seven Jewish men, women and children were slaughtered, and scores wounded, raped and maimed, by their Arab neighbors in the city of Hebron, who rioted for three days amid cries of "Slaughter the Jews." The killings began on Friday afternoon, 17 Av, and most of the victims lost their lives on Shabbat, 18 Av. The survivors were forced to evacuate to Jerusalem, and the ancient Jewish community of Hebron, which had lived in relative peace in the city for hundreds of years, was not revived until after Israel's capture of Hebron in the 1967 Six Day war.

Link: The Hebron Massacre

Laws and Customs

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 Four.

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 4

Daily Thought

One of the most precious gifts we can give a child is the knowledge that we are all accountable for everything we leave behind during this lifetime. That one day a voice will ask, “What did you do with the life I gave you?”

Because without that, the child gets the message that life is all about being smarter than the other guy, and about squeezing all you can out of this world without getting into trouble for it.

As soon as the child understands that there’s a greater context behind life, and he or she is an essential part of that context, life becomes purposeful. Staying out of trouble becomes meaningful. And the world becomes a friendlier, more peaceful place.

12th of Tammuz, 5741 (1981)..