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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The Jews who had returned to the Land of Israel with Ezra and Nehemiah gathered on this day and repented their misdeeds, signing a document in which they committed to trust in G‑d and follow His ways. Among the mitzvot they specified were to refrain from intermarriage and from purchasing produce on Shabbat (Nehemiah 9:1–3; 10:1–32).

Link: The Return to Israel

R. Yaakov Yosef was one of the foremost disciples of the Baal Shem Tov. He was the first one to disseminate the teachings of Chassidut in print, publishing the work Toldot Yaakov Yosef in 1780.

Link: The Rabbi’s Secret Sins

On this day in 5756 (1995), the Ribnitzer Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim Zanvil Abramowitz, passed away. For decades, with great self-sacrifice, he lived a full Chassidic lifestyle under Soviet rule before emigrating to Israel and then the U.S.

Laws and Customs

The day following a festival is called Isru Chag ("tied to the festival"). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted throughout the remainder of the festive month of Tishrei.

Daily Thought

Look deeply within each person you encounter, no matter how brilliant or dull, refined or crude, righteous or wicked you judge this person to be.

Beyond their clothes, beyond their skin, beyond their behavior, beyond their words.

Beyond the emotions they show, the personality in which they dress, past whatever masks they don to conceal their inner woes.

Look deeply and see the vicious war each one fights inside, the battle to remain human in a maddening world—a world you will never know, for no two of us are placed in the same world and no two of us confront the same challenges—

—the sickness at knowing one’s own failures and deficiencies, the yearning to be more, the disappointment at not being that, the struggle to fight every sorrow, every pain, every plummeting, disastrous trauma of life…

True, perhaps not everyone fights every battle. Some have long surrendered.

But the very fact that this person was assigned this battle tells us more than can be spoken, for the One who created him knows he has the power to prevail and win.

That alone is enough to admire, and to be humbled, asking yourself, “Do I fight a battle nearly as fierce as the one I expect this person to win? In what way am I any better?”

Tanya, Chapter 30.