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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Shevat 14 is the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua Falk Katz (1680-1756), author of the Talmudic work "Penei Yehoshua." He served as rabbi of Lemberg (Lvov) in 1718, Berlin in 1730, Metz in 1734 and Frankfurt in 1740.

Laws and Customs

Tachnun is omitted from the afternoon (Minchah) prayer services in honor of tomorrow being 15 Shevat.

Daily Thought

Life upon this earth is worthwhile—every moment of it. It is impossible that G‑d breathes life into you and yet you have no purpose in being alive. G‑d does not create failures.

We all know the specter of futility. Empty, wasted days—even lives that would seem far better off had they never been.

But it is all an artifact of our constricted view.

We who have no clue of the purpose of each life within the Creator’s grand scheme, no knowledge of the story of the divine spark within each creature. No concept of who we truly are. How could we measure the value of one more breath of life?

If we had a perch above and beyond, we would see an entirely different world.

We would see how every instance that appears to us as failure is a crucial step towards a much higher place.

How the pain of tearing ourselves away from our past is the gift of true transcendence.

How, one day, with one small turn, an entire broken life will be repaired and redeemed. Indeed, this wounded soldier will be all the more precious for having taken the longer road—for every soul is destined to return home.

As the acorns become mighty oaks only once they begin to rot in the dark soil, as the caterpillars abandon all form within their cocoons to emerge as magnificent butterflies—all the truly great things in our world unfold only in those places where no one cares to look, and no one wants to be.

After your time on this earth, your soul will rise to that perch above, and yet higher. And then it will return here again, as all the souls will return to reap their harvest.

Then you will see. There is no failure in G‑d’s world. Not a moment of it.

Based on 19 Iyar, 5712.