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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fast of Gedaliah
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Tishrei 3rd is a fast day mourning the assassination of the Jewish royal Gedaliah ben Achikam, governor of the Land of Israel for a short period following the destruction of the First Temple. Gedaliah's killing spelled the end of the small remnant of a Jewish community that remained in the Holy Land after the destruction. They soon fled to Egypt. (According to many opinions, the assassination of Gedaliah actually occurred on Rosh Hashanah, but the commemoration of the event is postponed to the day after the festival).

Link: About Gedaliah

Rebbetzin Devorah Leah, daughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi and mother of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (the "Tzemach Tzedek"), passed away on this date just three days after her young son's third birthday. Click here to read more about this.

Laws and Customs

Mourning the killing of Gedaliah (see "Today in Jewish History"), we abstain from food and drink from dawn to nightfall; selichot prayers are included in the morning prayer.

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 94</ br> Chapter 95 </ br> Chapter 96

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

Daily Thought

Even the wisest amongst us has no wings to escape himself.

Even when a man stands upright on the tallest mountain and perceives all there is to perceive, comprehends all there is to comprehend, achieves the ultimate realization of the Oneness that lies behind all things, and the nothingness of his own self—

In the end, he is still stuck on the ground where his feet have brought him. His eyes have not seen beyond his own eyeballs; his mind has grasped only that which a mind can grasp and touched that which it can reach. He has remained within his own self.

And the proof:
he has remained with a G‑d who is above
and an earth which is below, and the two cannot meet.

His only liberation, and the only liberation of the entire world, is when the One Above reaches down and tells us, “Do this. With this deed you are betrothed to Me.”

And then there is no above and below.
Then there is only One.