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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

On the 2nd of Nissan, one day after the inauguration of the Tabernacle, Moses prepared the very first Red Heifer, in order to ritually purify the Jewish nation in preparation for the bringing of the Paschal Lamb in the newly erected Sanctuary.

Link: The Divine commandment of the Red Heifer

The fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn ("Rashab"), was born in the White Russian town of Lubavitch in 1860. After the passing of his father, Rabbi Shmuel (in 1882), he assumed the leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch.

Famed for his phenomenal mind and analytical treatment of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Sholom DovBer wrote and delivered some 2,000 maamarim (discourses of Chassidic teaching) over the 38 years of his leadership. In 1897, he established the Tomchei Temimim yeshivah, the first institution of Jewish learning to combine the study of the "body" of Torah (Talmudic and legal studies) with its mystical "soul" (the teachings of Chassidism); it was this unique yeshivah that produced the army of learned, inspired and devoted Chassidim who, in the decades to come, would literally give their lives to keep Judaism alive under Soviet rule.

In 1915, Rabbi Sholom DovBer was forced to flee Lubavitch from the advancing WWI front and relocated to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. In his final years, he began the heroic battle against the new Communist regime's efforts to destroy the Jewish faith throughout the Soviet Union.

Rabbi Sholom DovBer passed away in Rostov on the 2nd of Nissan, 1920. His last words were: "I'm going to heaven; I leave you the writings."

Links: About Rabbi Sholom DovBer; works by Rabbi Sholom DovBer

Laws and Customs

In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi of the tribe of Issachar, Nethanel ben Tzuar, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.

Daily Thought

Jethro was an explorer, a trekker through the stars that rule the darkness.

Jethro discovered the meaning of each deity of every pantheon of gods, the forces they controlled, the energies to be exploited by worshipping them, the place each held in the power struggle of nature and being.

Until he arrived at a place from which he could look back and say, “Their power is an illusion. They are nothing more than conduits, the agencies of a perfect, transcendent Oneness Who pervades the universe.”

Then He saw the miracles wrought for the Jewish people, wonders that engaged every force of nature in unison, that connected heaven and earth as one.

Jethro knew he had arrived at truth. With him, he brought the secret of every false power, the wisdom that emerges from darkness.

And now Torah could enter the world.

Darkness, he found, can teach us more about light than light could ever say.

Likutei Sichot vol. 11, Yitro 1. Ibid vol. 16.