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Shabbat, February 6, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

"On the 24th day of the 11th month, which is the month of Shevat, in the second year of the reign of Darius, the word of G-d came to Zachariah the son of Berechiah the son of Ido the prophet, saying:
'...I will return to Jerusalem in mercy, my house will be built within her...and the Lord shall yet console Zion and shall yet choose Jerusalem.'" (Zechariah 1:7-17)

This was two years before the completion of the 2nd Temple on the 3rd of Adar, 3412 (349 BCE).

Rebbetzin Menuchah Rachel Slonim, daughter of Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch and granddaughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, was born on Kislev 19, 5559 (1798) -- the very day on which her illustrious grandfather was freed from his imprisonment in the Peter-Paul Fortress in Petersburg; she was thus named "Menuchah", meaning "tranquility" (Rachel was the name of a daughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman who died in her youth).

The Rebbetzin's lifelong desire to live in the Holy Land was realized in 1845, when she and her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Culi Slonim (d. 1857), led a contingent of Chassidim who settled in Hebron. Famed for her wisdom, piety and erudition, she served as the matriarch of the Chassidic community in Hebron until her passing in her 90th year in 1888.

Links:
A Biography on Rebbetzin Menuchah Rachel
22 Facts about Hebron Every Jew Should Know
19 Kislev: The "New Year" of Chassidism

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 the upcoming month of Adar, which falls on Friday and Shabbat of the following week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. See 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: Shabbat Mevarchim; Tehillim (the Book of Psalms); The Farbrengen

Daily Thought

The very first rule was made to be broken
—the rule that heaven is heaven and earth is earth and each must remain in its place.

The first to break that rule was the very One who made it,
when His glory descended upon Mount Sinai.
And He gave us a Torah so that we, too, could continue breaking that rule
—and all the rules that extend from it:

The rule that truth must remain in the mind,
but not descend into the heart;

That serenity and spirituality must remain in secluded places
and not enter your place of work;

That the innermost wisdom is to remain a secret of the wise
and not spill out onto the street;

That your challenges, your upbringing, your handicaps must hold you back
and not allow you to become who you really are.

All these and all their like are rules made to be broken,
and Torah is the key to unlock their chains.

Maamar Gal Einai 5737.