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Monday, December 2, 2019

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

A delegation from Babylonia put forth a query to the prophet Zechariah, asking whether the fast of the Ninth of Av was still in effect, now that the Second Temple had been built. In response, Zechariah transmitted G‑d’s message that it was not fasting that was most important, but to uphold justice, truth, kindness and compassion.

Zechariah also foretold what will occur to the fast days in the Messianic era: “So says the L‑rd of Hosts: The fast of the fourth month [the seventeenth of Tammuz], the fast of the fifth month [the ninth of Av], the fast of the seventh month [the third of Tishrei], and the fast of the tenth month [the tenth of Teves] will be to the House of Judah for rejoicing, happiness, and festivals.” (Zechariah 7–8)

After a three-month-long unsuccessful battle and siege waged by Suleiman Pasha, governor of Damascus, against the sheikh of Tiberias, the governor finally left the city. To mark their salvation and the numerous miracles that had occurred throughout the siege, the Jews of Tiberias, led by the venerable R. Chaim Abulafia (1660–1744), established this date as a yearly festival of rejoicing and praise to G‑d. (Yalkut Me’am Lo’ez, Esther 9:28)

Daily Thought

The mind of a woman and the mind of a man are two distinct minds at their very core. And only with both can there be a world.

It began when G‑d decided to create a world. In doing so, He took two perspectives. He saw the world from beyond, as its Creator. And He saw the world from within, as the energy of life.

From that first perspective originates the mind of man; from the second, the mind of woman.

That is why the man has the power to conquer and subdue, but he does not have the woman’s sense of the other.

That is why the woman feels the other. She does not conquer, she nurtures. But her light is tightly constrained.

As they bond together, the man unleashes the woman’s light, and the woman teaches the man to feel the other. In that union shines the very essence of all that is holy and divine.

Sefer ha-Likkutim (Ari), Shemot; Sefer ha-Maamarim 5652, p. 118.