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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn (known by the acronym "Rashab"), was born on the 20th of Cheshvan of the year 5621 from creation (1860).

After the passing of his father, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, in 1882, Rabbi Sholom DovBer assumed the leadership of the movement. Over the next 38 years, he wrote and delivered some 2,000 maamarim (discourses of Chassidic teaching) including the famed hemshechim (serialized discourses) which contain his profound analytical treatment of Chabad Chassidism. In 1897, he established the Tomchei Temimim yeshivah in Lubavitch, the first institution of Jewish learning to integrate the "body" (Talmudic and legal studies) and "soul" (philosophic and mystical) of Torah into a cohesive, living whole; it was this unique form of education and Torah study that produced the "Temimim" -- the army of learned, inspired and devoted torchbearers who, in the decades to come, would literally give their lives to keep Judaism alive under Soviet rule.

In 1915 Rabbi Sholom DovBer was forced to flee Lubavitch from the advancing WWI front and settled in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia. In his final years, he began the heroic battle -- carried on under the leadership of his son and successor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn -- against the new Communist regime's efforts to destroy the Jewish faith. Rabbi Sholom DovBer passed away in Rostov in 1920.

Links: Want it All; To Know G-d and On Ahavat Yisrael -- two maamarim by Rabbi Sholom DovBer.

Daily Thought

“Jacob! Your tents are so good!” (Balak 24:5)

Bilam was the most powerful shaman of all time. King Balak paid him handsomely to lay his curses on the Jewish people.

But when Bilam observed the Jewish people and saw that the openings of their tents did not face one another…

…meaning that they weren’t prodding into each other’s private lives, and neither were they putting their own lives on public display…

…then Bilam realized this was not a people he could curse.

Because when a society values and protects the inner life of its individuals it protects itself. It is a healthy, whole organism. The Divine Presence breathes within it. No illness can conquer it, no intruder can penetrate its borders.

See Likutei Sichot, vol. 13, pg. 78.