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ב"ה
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Shabbat, 8 Tishrei, 5781

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The 14-day dedication festivities, celebrating the completion of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem built by King Solomon, commenced on the 8th of Tishrei of the year 2935 from creation (826 BCE). The First Temple served as the epicenter of Jewish national and spiritual life for 410 year, until its destruction by the Babylonians in 423 BCE.

Links: The Holy Temple: an Anthology

Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Baruch, father of the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi.

On 29–30 September (8–9 Tishrei), 1941, German forces aided by Ukrainian collaborators massacred over 30,000 Jews in the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev, Ukraine.

Link: Was the Holocaust a Punishment from G‑d?
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 109
Chapter 110
Chapter 111

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

In certain communities, it is customary to perform the Tashlich ceremony today (if the day doesn't fall on Shabbat.)

Daily Thought

Yom Kippur is described in many ways. One very poignant description is that it is “once in a year.”

You see, the human soul is also described in many ways, with five different names, each describing a deeper level of her being. The fifth, deepest level is called yechidah, which means “one and unique.” Yechidah is the soul as she is fused and one with her Creator, so that the two are an inseparable whole.

Yom Kippur is the day that the essential bond of yechidah shines within the time and space in our world.

Meaning that once in a year, the One Above unites with the essential oneness of the soul here below within each one of us.

All else falls away.

Hitvaadiyot 5747, Vol. 1, pg. 113. Hitvaadiyot 5750, Vol. 1, pg. 101.