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Thursday, October 20, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Passing of the great Chassidic leader and advocate for the Jewish people, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (1740-1809). Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was a close disciple of the second leader of the Chassidic movement, Rabbi DovBer, the Maggid of Mezritch. He is best known for his love for every Jew and his impassioned words of advocacy on their behalf before the Almighty.

Link: Kol Nidrei; more on R. Levi Yitzchak

Tishrei 25th is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Moshe Sofer of Pressburg (1762-1839), known as "Chatam Sofer" after his work of Rabbinic responsa. Rabbi Moshe was an outstanding Halachic authority and community leader, and was at the forefront of the battle to preserve the integrity of traditional Judaism in the face of the various "reformist" movements of his time.

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.