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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

Creativity is an exercise in paradox.

It is the artist’s expression of self. And yet the artist must remove himself from his art, with discipline and with skill, so that his creation will stand as its own reality, as a creation.

Creation of a universe from nothingness is the absolute paradoxical act.

It is the absolute expression of absolute existence, as existence emerges without bounds.

And it is the absolute of restraint, as the Creator conceals His presence within the act of sustaining a creation, so that this creation will perceive itself as its own being, and not simply an extension of its Creator.

So that in the very existence of this universe is manifest the ultimate oneness: That light and darkness, being and not-being converge at a point where all is one.

So that even when there is a heaven and an earth, there is nothing else but that elusive point we know as G‑d.

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