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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Chof Kislev - "Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism"
Jewish History

Ezra, head of the Sanhedrin and the leader of the Jewish people at the time of the building of the Second Temple, made an historic address to a three-day assemblage of Jews in Jerusalem, exhorting them to adhere to the teachings of the Torah and to dissolve their interfaith marriages (the Jewish people were on the verge of complete assimilation at the time, following their 70-year exile in Babylonia).

Links: On Intermarriage

The first printing of the "bible of Chassidism", the Tanya, the magnum opus of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad.

Links: The Longer Shorter Way; Lessons in Tanya (includes an English translation of the Hebrew text plus explanatory commentary in English)

Laws and Customs

The Rosh Hashanah ("new year") of Chassidism, marking the liberation of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi and the subsequent blossoming of Chabad Chassidism, is celebrated for two days, Kislev 19-20. (The Rebbe was released from prison on the 19th, but his full freedom was only obtained late in the evening -- Kislev 20 on the Jewish Calendar.) The two days are celebrated with farbrengens (Chassidic gatherings) and an increased commitment to the ways and teachings of Chassidism. Tachnun (supplication) and similar prayers are omitted. For more information and links, see entries for yesterday Kislev 19.

In Chabad practice, Tachanun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted today.
Daily Thought

Hear O Israel, G‑d is our G‑d , G‑d is One.

“Hear” means to understand. To meditate deeply.

“Israel” is the name of your soul, the breath of G‑d within you.

Then, the four-letter name of G‑d.

What is that name? It is a combination of the three forms of the verb “to be”—so that it means “is, was, will be” all in a single moment, entirely transcending time— yet providing existence to time and all that occurs within it.

Then, another name of G‑d, a name that refers to His power over heaven and earth, as He is found within the forces of nature. But in the possessive form: “our power.”

And then we return to the four-letter name, this time as this name is within you. For your soul and G‑d merge as One.

You must say to your soul:

Listen, my soul, and meditate upon this:

Your power comes from Beyond Time.

You, my soul, merge with G‑d as One.

Likutei Torah, Drushim L’Rosh Hashanah 62d.