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ב"ה
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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

There are people who do many good things, but with pessimism—because to them the world is an inherently bad place. Since their good deeds have no life to them, who knows how long they can keep it up?

We must know that this world is not a dark, sinister jungle, but a garden. And not just any garden, but G‑d’s own pleasure garden, full of beauty, wonderful fruits and fragrances, a place where G‑d desires to be with all His essence.

If the taste to us is bitter, it is only because we must first peel away the outer shell to find the fruit inside.