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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In 1733, the Persian conqueror Nader Shah Afshar laid siege to Ottoman-held Baghdad. Knowing that Persian rule would not bode well for them, the Jewish community prayed for an Ottoman victory. On 11 Menachem Av, an Ottoman force led by Topal Osman Pasha drove away the Persian forces and the siege was lifted. The Jewish community commemorated this day each year, refraining from reciting the penitential prayers of tachanun.

R. Hillel of Paritch was one of the outstanding followers of the second and third Rebbes of Lubavitch, R. DovBer and R. Menachem Mendel Schneersohn. He was an exceptional scholar and served as rabbi of Paritch and then of Babroisk. Additionally, he would make a yearly visit on behalf of the Rebbe to the Jewish colonies in the Kherson region, teaching them Chassidut and inspiring their residents to increase in their observance of the mitzvot.

R. Hillel was known for his scrupulous adherence to every detail of Jewish law. He authored Pelach Harimon, a collection of sermons on chassidic philosophy, and composed a number of heartfelt tunes sung often at farbrengens until today.

Links: The Prodigy Under the Bed, R. Hillel’s Promise, R. Mordechai Yoel’s Stories.

Hear a tune composed by R. Hillel: Nigun Dveikus

Daily Thought

“A home,” wrote Solomon the Wise, “is built with wisdom.”

And not with a hammer.

Because wisdom is the glue of beauty. Wisdom, meaning the ability to step back and see all of the picture, the past and, most important, the future to which all this leads. To see the truth inside each thing.

Without wisdom, there are only fragments. With wisdom, there is a whole. And there is peace between all the parts of that whole.

Sefer Hasichot 5704, page 100.