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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

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai hid from the Romans in a cave for thirteen years. There he was visited by heavenly beings, by Elijah the prophet and even by Moses. It was there that he composed the holy Zohar.

When he left the cave and came to a town, he did not say, “Let me enlighten you with the inner light of Torah, the light that has been hidden since the six days of creation.”

He said, “What is there in your town that I can fix?”

Whatever knowledge a human being is given in this world, whatever wisdom, enlightenment or inspiration, it is all only and exclusively for one purpose: To assist him to fix up this world.

Likkutei Sichot, volume 32, page 152, based on Talmud, Shabbat 33b.