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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Jewish History

As per the Talmud, the month of Kislev marks the onset of the winter season in the Holy Land and is the third month of the "Season of the Rains."

Link: Winter

For the first time since suffering a major heart attack five weeks earlier, on the eve of Shemini Atzeret, the Rebbe left his office in 770 Eastern Parkway and returned to his home, signaling his recovery. Chassidim all over rejoiced at the good news.

From that day on, the Rebbe redoubled his efforts on behalf of the Jewish nation and all of humanity, and for the dissemination of Torah and chassidism. From then on, the first of Kislev is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving and rejoicing.

Link: Illness and Challenge (from the timeline "biography of ideas" in Therebbe.org).

Laws and Customs

Today is Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") for the month of Kislev.

Special portions are added to the daily prayers: Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited -- in its "partial" form -- following the Shacharit morning prayer, and the Yaaleh V'yavo prayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals; the additional Musaf prayer is said (when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat, special additions are made to the Shabbat Musaf). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.

Many have the custom to mark Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal and reduced work activity. The latter custom is prevalent amongst women, who have a special affinity with Rosh Chodesh -- the month being the feminine aspect of the Jewish Calendar.

Links: The 29th Day; The Lunar Files

Daily Thought

The very first rule was made to be broken
—the rule that heaven is heaven and earth is earth and each must remain in its place.

The first to break that rule was the very One who made it,
when His glory descended upon Mount Sinai.
And He gave us a Torah so that we, too, could continue breaking that rule
—and all the rules that extend from it:

The rule that truth must remain in the mind,
but not descend into the heart;

That serenity and spirituality must remain in secluded places
and not enter your place of work;

That the innermost wisdom is to remain a secret of the wise
and not spill out onto the street;

That your challenges, your upbringing, your handicaps must hold you back
and not allow you to become who you really are.

All these and all their like are rules made to be broken,
and Torah is the key to unlock their chains.

Maamar Gal Einai 5737.