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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Tammuz 12 is the birthday the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch (1880-1950). This is also the day on which he was liberated from exile to the Soviet gulag 47 years later (see below).

Links:
A short biography
More on Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch

On the 12th of Tammuz of 1927, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, was officially granted release from his sentence of exile to Kastroma in the interior of Russia.

Twenty-seven days earlier, the Rebbe had been arrested by agents of the GPU and the Yevsektzia ("Jewish Section" of the Communist Party) for his activities to preserve Judaism throughout the Soviet empire and sentenced to death, G-d forbid. International pressure forced the Soviets to commute the sentence to exile and, subsequently, to release him completely. The actual release took place on Tammuz 13, and Tammuz 12-13 is celebrated as a "festival of liberation" by the Chabad-Lubavitch community.

Tammuz 12 is also Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak's birthday (see above)

Links:
The Rebbe's Prison Diary
The Soviet war on Jewry

R. Jacob ben Asher, son of R. Asher ben Yechiel (the Rosh), was one of the most prominent Torah scholars in medieval Europe. His classic work on Jewish law, Arba’ah Turim (known also as Tur), covers every area of Jewish life (in the post-Temple era), presenting the various opinions of previous authorities along with the author’s own decisions. A host of commentaries were written on this work, including one by R. Yosef Caro and another by R. Moshe Isserlis. These two commentaries formed the basis for the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), the definitive guide to Jewish observance until today.

R. Jacob also authored a popular commentary on the Torah, uncovering layers of hidden meaning in the text by way of gematria (and other close analysis of the texts).

Link: Rabbi Jacob ben Asher

Laws and Customs
In Chabad practice, Tachanun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted today.
Daily Thought

Where is the playwright within the play? Within the lead actor? Behind a rock?

She has invested her entire being within her play. She is present in every detail.

And yet the playwright is nowhere to be found.


Where is the soul within the body?

At the smallest wound in the body, the soul reels in pain. The slightest nuance of the soul is immediately expressed in the body. Grab a living body and you grab a soul.

And yet nowhere within your body will any biologist ever find you, the person, and your will to choose to do what you do.

The body and soul are one, and yet the soul has not become body—and the body without the soul remains only a slab of meat.


Where are you within your own personality?

Are you your feelings? Are you your mind? All these things change and yet you remain the same person.

In every detail of your persona, we find you, all of you. Yet you are none of these, and neither are you all of these.


Where is G‑d within His universe?

Within every detail.

And in none of them.

Beyond and within.

As the Zohar says, “He grasps all things, but none grasp Him.”

Torah Ohr, Vayera. Maamar V’nacha Alav 5714.