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ב"ה
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Shabbat, 5 Tishrei, 5782

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Akiva, was taken captive by the Romans on Tishrei 5 of the year 3894 from creation (134 CE). His subsequent torture and execution is recalled in the stirring Eleh Ezkarah poem of the Yom Kippur service.

Naftali, the son of Jacob and Bilhah, sixth of the Twelve Tribes, was born on the 5th of Tishrei. He lived to be 133 years old.
Laws and Customs

The Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah, "Shabbat of Return." The name derives from the Haftarah (reading from the prophets) for this Shabbat, which opens with the words (Hosea 14:2), "Return O Israel unto the L-rd your G-d..." Occurring in the "Ten Days of Repentance" (see "Laws & Customs" for Tishrei 3), it is a most auspicious time to rectify the failings and missed opportunities of the past and positively influence the coming year.

The master Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria ("Ari") taught that the seven days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (which will always include one Sunday, one Monday, etc.) correspond to the seven days of the week. The Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur includes within itself all Sundays of the year; the Monday embodies all Mondays, and so on. Shabbat Shuvah is thus the archetypal Shabbat -- the juncture in time at which we are empowered to influence every Shabbat of our year.

The 10-day period beginning on Rosh Hashanah and ending on Yom Kippur is known as the "Ten Days of Repentance"; this is the period, say the sages, of which the prophet speaks when he proclaims (Isaiah 55:6) "Seek G-d when He is to be found; call on Him when He is near." Psalm 130, Avinu Malkeinu and other special inserts and additions are included in our daily prayers during these days.

The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms). Click below for today's three Psalms.

Chapter 100 Chapter 101 Chapter 102

Links: About the Ten Days of teshuvah; Voicemail; more on teshuvah

Daily Thought

Heavens, lend your ear and I will speak! Earth, hear what my mouth has to say! (Deut. 32:1)

Listen heavens and give ear, oh earth! (Isaiah 1:2)

Isaiah reversed Moses’ language. He asked the earth to lend its ear and called out to the heavens to listen.

Rabbi Akiva explained:

To whom do you say, “Lend your ear?” To someone who is close to you.

So Isaiah, who stood on the earth, asked the earth to lend an ear. But to heaven, he had to call out.

Moses, however, stood in the heavens, far from earth. He needed only to whisper and the heavens would hear.

And so it is for every one of us during the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.

At this time we are all empowered to be like Moses—closer to heaven than to earth.

Take advantage while it lasts. Call out to heaven. Bring it down to earth.

Likutei Sichot vol. 14, p. 147.