ב"ה
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Monday, August 8, 2022

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

Know as clear as day and contemplate this deeply, that He who emanates all into being is He who rules and judges this world. In the heavens above and on the earth below, there is nothing else. (Deut. 4:39)

The same G‑d who transcends all time and space is the same G‑d manifest in all the forces and fields of physics.

The same G‑d from whom all existence emerges is the same G‑d who conceals that truth from every conscious being, providing space for each one to be that which it is.

The same G‑d from whom all life extends is the same G‑d who restrains that energy, with kindness, so that finite creatures can exist, to the tiniest worm hiding in the bowels of the earth.

And when you know all this, and you contemplate it well…

…that the very substance of each thing is nothing more than an articulation of divine energy, that even time and space extend from Him at will, as do the very limitations and sense of existence of each creation, that darkness is His presence as much as light, hiddenness as is revelation, matter as is energy, somethingness as is nothingness, for He is both beyond and within each place, moment and thing…

…then you will know that there really is nothing else. Nothing else but the one G‑d.

As the Baal Shem Tov would say in simple, succinct form: Divine energy is all there is, and everything is divine energy.

Sha’ar Hayichud V’Ha-emunah, chapter six.