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Shabbat, May 23, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Omer: Day 44 - Gevurah sheb'Malchut
Tonight Count 45
Jewish History

One day after Israeli forces liberated Eastern Jerusalem in the course of the Six-Day War, another of the holy cities, Hebron, was also liberated.

Following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, Jordan took over the control of Hebron along with the rest of the West Bank. During this time, Israelis were not allowed to enter the West Bank. The Jewish Quarter was destroyed, Jewish cemeteries were desecrated, 58 synagogues were destroyed and an animal pen was built on the ruins of the Patriarch Abraham Synagogue.

R. Meir of Premishlan was a famous chassidic master and a noted miracle worker. Although he lived in poverty, he exerted himself tirelessly for the needy and the suffering. His divine inspiration and his ready wit have become legendary.

Links: Connection, Horses

Laws and Customs

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim (“the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") of the upcoming month of Sivan, which falls on Sunday (tommorow).

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the "birth" of the new moon. See molad times.

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Links: Shabbat Mevarchim; Tehillim (the Book of Psalms); The Farbrengen

In preparation for the festival of Shavuot, we study one of the six chapters of the Talmud's Ethics of the Fathers ("Avot") on the afternoon of each of the six Shabbatot between Passover and Shavuot; this Shabbat being the Shabbat before Shhavuot, we study Chapter Six. (In many communities -- and such is the Chabad custom -- the study cycle is repeated through the summer, until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah.)

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 6

Tomorrow is the forty-fifth 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 forty-five days, which are six weeks and three 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: Tifferet sheb'Malchut -- "Harmony in Receptiveness"

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

The mournful paragraph of Tzidkatecha Tzedek is omitted from the afternoon prayers.
Daily Thought

There are two paths:

One: Everything is for the good. Perhaps not immediately, but eventually good will come out from it.

The other: Everything is truly good—because there is nothing else but He who is Good. It’s just a matter of holding firm a little longer, unperturbed by the phantoms of our limited vision, unimpressed by the paper tiger that calls itself a world, and eventually we will be granted a heart to understand and eyes to see.

Indeed, it's that very faith of yours that will make this become obvious good in our world as well.