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Shabbat, January 5, 2019

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

The world is absurd. Ugly absurd.

To repair ugly absurdity, you can’t just be normal. You need an alternative absurdity. A beautiful absurdity.

We call it “divine madness.”