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Shabbat, October 26, 2024

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 Shabbat after Simchat Torah is Shabbat Bereishit -- "Shabbat of Beginning" -- the first Shabbat of the annual Torah reading cycle, on which the Torah section of Bereishit ("In the Beginning") is read.

The weekly Torah reading is what defines the Jewish week, serving as the guide and point of reference for the week's events, deeds and decisions; Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi called this "living with the times." Hence the theme and tone of this week is one of beginning and renewal, as we launch into yet another cycle of Torah life. The Rebbes of Chabad would say: "As one establishes oneself on Shabbat Bereishit, so goes the rest of the year."

Link: Beginnings

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim (“the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of the upcoming month of Cheshvan (also known as "MarCheshvan"), which falls on Friday and Shabbat of next week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. See molad times.

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Links: Shabbat Mevarchim; Tehillim (the Book of Psalms); The Farbrengen

Daily Thought

A young man came to the Rebbe to receive his blessing. The Rebbe looked at him and said, "A Jew must be happy!"

The young man replied, "Rebbe, what is there to be happy about?"

The Rebbe answered, "Be happy that you were privileged to wrap tefillin this morning!"

The young man mumbled a few words that made the situation quite obvious.

The Rebbe responded, "Be happy that you have a G‑d who waits every minute for the moment you will return to Him and wrap tefillin!"