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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 36 - Chessed sheb'Yesod
Tonight Count 37
Jewish History

Karl Hermann Frank, the German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia during World War II, was hanged on this date in 1946.

Frank surrendered to the American army on May 9, 1945 and was extradited and tried in a court in Prague. Following his conviction for war crimes, Frank was sentenced to death and hanged in the courtyard of the Pankrac prison in Prague as 5,000 onlookers witnessed his death.

The Chabad-Lubavitch village in Israel, Kfar Chabad, was founded by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, on Iyar 21 of 1949. The first settlers were mostly recent immigrants from the Soviet Union, survivors of the terrors of World War II and Stalinist oppression. Kfar Chabad, which is located about five miles south of Tel Aviv and includes agricultural lands as well as numerous educational institutions, serves as the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement in the Holy Land.

Link: The Rebbe Who Saved a Village

Laws and Customs

Tomorrow is the thirty-seventh day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall of the previous evening, we count the omer for tomorrow's date tonight, after nightfall: "Today is thirty-seven days, which are five weeks and two days, to the Omer." (If you miss the count tonight, you can count the omer all day tomorrow, but without the preceding blessing).

The 49-day "Counting of the Omer" retraces our ancestors' seven-week spiritual journey from the Exodus to Sinai. Each evening we recite a special blessing and count the days and weeks that have passed since the Omer; the 50th day is Shavuot, the festival celebrating the Giving of the Torah at Sinai.

Tonight's Sefirah: Gevurah sheb'Yesod -- "Restraint in Connection"

The teachings of Kabbalah explain that there are seven "Divine Attributes" -- Sefirot -- that G-d assumes through which to relate to our existence: Chessed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut ("Love", "Strength", "Beauty", "Victory", "Splendor", "Foundation" and "Sovereignty"). In the human being, created in the "image of G-d," the seven sefirot are mirrored in the seven "emotional attributes" of the human soul: Kindness, Restraint, Harmony, Ambition, Humility, Connection and Receptiveness. Each of the seven attributes contain elements of all seven--i.e., "Kindness in Kindness", "Restraint in Kindness", "Harmony in Kindness", etc.--making for a total of forty-nine traits. The 49-day Omer Count is thus a 49-step process of self-refinement, with each day devoted to the "rectification" and perfection of one the forty-nine "sefirot."

Links:
How to count the Omer
The deeper significance of the Omer Count

Daily Thought

There is a beast inside. It awaits you for its tikkun.

How do you fix up the human beast? First with prayer, then with food, but ultimately by doing business.

You need to start with meditation and prayer, because that beast inside needs to experience not only wonder, but even love for G‑d. The problem is, in prayer and meditation you have not yet met that beast on its own ground.

Next, eat your breakfast like a human being is meant to eat—a step higher than the food you consume, raising it up rather than letting it pull you down. Then, yes, you have met your human beast on its own ground. But not on its own terms. You are still fighting with it—against its desire to be pulled down into the food.

So then go out into the world and provide goods and services of value, and do that with integrity.

No longer are you fighting against the human beast. You are working with it and from within it, with all the talents and skills you have. Because otherwise, you are not providing the value for which others are paying, and that is not integrity.

Now you can understand why the very first question asked of the soul when it returns from its mission in this world is not “How did you pray?” or “How did you eat?” but “Did you do business with integrity?” For that is when you truly fixed up this world.

Padah B’Shalom 5739.