ב"ה
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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

In the first decades of the 5th century, Rav Ashi (d. 427) and Ravina I (d. 421) led a group of the Amoraim (Talmudic sages) in the massive undertaking of compiling the Babylonian Talmud -- collecting and editing the discussions, debates and rulings of hundreds of scholars and sages which had taken place in the more than 200 years since the compilation of the Mishnah by Rabbi Judah HaNassi in 189. The last of these editors and compilers was Ravina II, who passed away on the 13th of Kislev of the year 4235 from creation (475 CE); after Ravina II, no further additions were make to the Talmud, with the exception of the minimal editing undertaken by the Rabbanan Savura'i (476-560). This date thus marks the point at which the Talmud was "closed" and became the basis for all further exegesis of Torah law.

Links:
What Is the Talmud?

Daily Thought

And these words with which I connect with you today… (Deut. 6:6)

Every day these words should be just as new for you as if they were given today. (Sifri)

How could the same mitzvah you did yesterday be new to you today? The same words of Torah as though you never knew them before? The same prayer as though you never said it before?

Through a simple meditation on what is happening when you do that mitzvah, when you study those words, when you pour out your heart in your prayer.

Contemplate that the entire universe is but a glimmer of G‑d’s infinite light. Yet, in this mitzvah, you hold the Creator Himself in your hands. As you learn His Torah, your soul joins with His very essence. In your prayer, you and He are alone as one.

It makes no difference that you feel nothing, that you are not awake to the glory of this moment, that the physical body does not allow you to perceive reality as it is. One day you will see this moment now from a place far beyond this coarse world.

But then it will be only a memory, a souvenir.

Now you have the real thing.

Because, says G‑d, today, in the moment of this mitzvah now, I, just I, beyond any name or definition, I connect with you.

And such a moment is a moment beyond time.

Maamar Tzion Bamishpat 5736.