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Shabbat, January 25, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

According to sources cited in Seder Hadorot, Tevet 28 is both the birthday and the day of passing of Shimon the son of Jacb; other sources place the date as Tevet 21. (See the entry for Tevet 21).

Shimon ben Shetach successfully completed the expulsion of the Sadducees (a sect which denied the Oral Torah and the authority of the Sages) who had dominated the Sanhedrin (Supreme Court), replacing them with his Torah-loya disciples, on the 28th of Tevet of the year 3680 from creation (81 BCE).

Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson (1879 (O.S.) - 1964), mother of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, was born on Tevet 28.

Link: A biography of Rebbetzin Chana

Laws and Customs

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim ("the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of upcoming month of Shevat, which falls on Monday of next week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. Click here for molad times.

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Links: On the Significance of Shabbat Mevarchim; Tehillim (the Book of Psalms); The Farbrengen

Daily Thought

“If one Jew is exiled to one distant land, and another to yet a more distant land, I consider it as though all of you were exiled to each of those lands.” (Midrash Rabba, Song of Songs)

Why is it so crucial that no Jew be left behind?

And why did we have to be exiled to every corner of the world?

Because that was the purpose of our exile: That a Jew be pushed far away, only in order to discover the most precious sparks of the divine hidden in those distant places—in their customs, in their culture, and through the lessons of life to be learned there.

And the collective Jewish soul insists that we return with all the crown jewels.