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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

The words and the stories of Torah are but its clothing; the guidance within them is its body.

And as with a body, within that guidance breathes a soul that gives life to whoever follows it.

And within that soul breathes a deeper, transcendental soul, the soul of the soul: G‑d Himself within His Torah.

Grasp the clothes alone, and you are like the student who hears the words but not the thoughts. Grasp straight for the soul—or even the body—and you will come up with nothing. They are not graspable; they are G‑dly wisdom, and you are a created being.

Instead, examine those words and those stories; turn them again and again. As words from the heart are one with the heart, every word of these stories is Torah. As fine clothes and jewelry bring out the beauty of their wearer, so these words and stories will open your eyes to the G‑dliness within them.

This is what Torah is meant to achieve: that we should discover G‑d in simple stories. Because once we will find Him there, we will find Him in the simple stories of our own lives as well.

Maamar Gal Einai 5737.