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Shabbat, July 30, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Nine Days
Jewish History

On the 2nd and 3rd of Av in the year 5702 from creation (1942 CE), more than 13,000 Jews were rounded up by French police and interred in the Vel' d'Hiv, an indoor bicycle stadium in the center of Paris. They were later transported to Auschwitz to be killed. Within days, the Vel' d'Hiv was cleaned up and ready for recreation.

In the summer of 1929, R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, sixth Rebbe of Chabad, visited the Land of Israel (the only Chabad Rebbe to do so—see link below). The stated purpose of the trip was to pray at the gravesites of the righteous individuals interred there. Among the cities he visited during his two-week-long stay were Jerusalem, Safed, Meron, Tiberias, Hebron, and Tel Aviv.

The Rebbe departed the Holy Land two days before the Arab riots of 1929, in which scores of Jews were massacred in Hebron and Jerusalem (see entry for 17 Av).

Links: Cause and Effect, Why Didn’t the Rebbe Ever Visit Israel?

Laws and Customs

During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we study a weekly chapter of the Talmud's Ethics of the Fathers ("Avot") each Shabbat afternoon; this week we study Chapter Two.

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 2

During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple. We abstain from meat and wine, music, haircutting, bathing for pleasure, and other joyous (and dangerous) activities. (The particular mourning customs vary from community to community, so consult a competent halachic authority for details.)

Consumption of meat and wine is permitted on Shabbat, or at a seudat mitzvah (obligatory festive meal celebrating the fulfillment of certain mitzvot) such as a brit (circumcision), or a siyum celebrating the completion of a course of Torah study (i.e., a complete Talmudic tractate). The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory initiated the custom of conducting or participating in a siyum on each of the Nine Days (even if one does not avail oneself of the dispensation to eat meat).

Citing the verse "Zion shall be redeemed with mishpat [Torah] and its returnees with tzedakah," (Isaiah 1:27) the Rebbe urged that we increase in Torah study (particularly the study of the laws of the Holy Temple) and charity during this period.

Links:
Nine Days laws and customs
Daily live siyum broadcasts
Learn about the Holy Temple in Jerusalem

Daily Thought

Before Sinai, there was earth and there was heaven. If you wanted one, you abandoned the other.

At Sinai, the boundaries of heaven and earth were breached and the human being was empowered to fuse the two: To raise the earthly into the realm of the spirit, and to bring heaven down to earth.

Before Mount Sinai, the coarse material of which the world is made could not be elevated. It could be used as a medium, an aid in achieving enlightenment, but it itself could not be enlightened. The spirit was raised, but the earth remained dark.

At Sinai we were empowered to take physical objects and transform them into spiritual artifacts.

Our forefathers’ task was to enlighten the souls. Ours is to transform the darkness of a material world into light.