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Shabbat, October 8, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Passing of Rabbi Akiva Eiger (1761-1837), outstanding Talmudist and Halachic authority.

Tishrei 13 is the yahrtzeit of the fourth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn, known as "Maharash" (a Hebrew acronym for "our master Rabbi Shmuel").

Rabbi Shmuel was born in the town of Lubavitch on the 2nd of Iyar of the year 5594 from creation (1834). His father was the third Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866). Though the youngest of Rabbi Menachem Mendel's seven sons, Rabbi Shmuel was chosen to succeed his father as the leader of Chabad Chassidism in the movement's capitol, Lubavitch, at the latter's passing in 1866 (four of his brothers established branches of Chabad in other towns in White Russia and Ukraine).

In addition to authoring and delivering more than 1,000 maamarim (discourses) of Chassidic teaching, Rabbi Shmuel was extensively involved in Jewish communal affairs and traveled throughout Europe in order to generate pressure on the Czarist regime to halt its instigation of pogroms against the Jews of Russia. Rabbi Shmuel passed away at the age of 48 on Tishrei 13, 5643 (1882).

Links: More on the Rebbe Maharash

Daily Thought

Water and oil both represent wisdom.

Water represents the wisdom of life in this world, a wisdom that flows from the tallest mountain to the lowest valley, from the highest cloud to the deepest ocean floor. In all things, that wisdom breathes, telling us how to live, how to bring harmony into this world.

Oil represents a wisdom that is beyond this world. It is called the hidden wisdom because it is hidden by its very nature, so that it must be squeezed out of its source with great effort.

But if it is a wisdom that is beyond this world, why make the effort to reveal it? If we can live without it, why search for it?

We search for it to know why we should live in this world. To discover it is not just a world, that it has purpose and meaning. That in every cell, it contains G-d.

That is the wisdom that shines from the oil of Chanukah. In its light, we see the divine even in the darkness.

From that wisdom emerges the flame we need to live true lives.