Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.
To view Shabbat Times click here to set your location

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
To view Halachic Times click here to set your location
Jewish History

Jehoaikim, King of Judah, burnt a scroll dictated by the prophet Jeremiah and written by his disciple Baruch son of Neriah. This scroll was the book of Lamentations, and was written to forewarn the king of the imminent destruction of Jerusalem. (Jeremiah ch. 36. Megilat Taanit, perek ha’acharon. It should be noted that other sources provide alternate dates—see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:1 and Magen Avraham ad loc.)

Link: Jehoahaz and Jehoaikim

Death of Herod, King of Judea. Herod seized the rule from the Hasmoneans, after killing them all. Fearing that the rabbis would challenge his authority, he killed them all, leaving only Bava ben Buta. Later, out of remorse for his cruelty, he had the Holy Temple completely renovated.

Link: Herod the Great

Laws and Customs

Once a month, as the moon waxes in the sky, we recite a special blessing called Kiddush Levanah, "the sanctification of the moon," praising the Creator for His wondrous work we call astronomy.

Kiddush Levanah is recited after nightfall, usually on Saturday night. The blessing is concluded with songs and dancing, because our nation is likened to the moon—as it waxes and wanes, so have we throughout history. When we bless the moon, we renew our trust that very soon, the light of G‑d's presence will fill all the earth and our people will be redeemed from exile.

Though Kiddush Levanah can be recited as early as three days after the moon's rebirth, the kabbalah tells us it is best to wait a full week, till the seventh of the month. Once 15 days have passed, the moon begins to wane once more and the season for saying the blessing has passed.

Links:

Kiddush Levana: Sanctification of the Moon
Brief Guide to Kiddush Levanah: Thank G‑d for the Moon!

Tonight, starting with the Maariv evening prayers, we begin inserting a request for rain -- "v'ten tal u'matar" -- in the 9th blessing of the Amidah (in the Holy Land, the request for rain is inserted beginning on Cheshvan 7)

Links:
The Rainmaker Winter Rain

Daily Thought

True, our hearts are not in our hands. But our minds are: We can think about whatever we decide to think about. And therein lies our power.

The mind rules over the heart—not just as a rider rules over his horse, but in a much more intimate sense. For the mind is the father and the mother, the seed and the womb from which the attitudes of a person are born and then nurtured. The heart does no more than reflect the state of the mind—its turmoil, its resolution, its shallowness or its depth, its coarseness or its maturity.

This then must be the focus of the person who wishes to leave this world with more than he arrived: To engage his mind with all its intensity in thoughts that elevate and inspire, and push away with equal force any thought that drags down and holds back.

And to allow all that labor to pass through the channel from the mind to the heart and give birth to actual deeds.