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Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Rabbi Yaakov ben Meir Tam, known as the "Rabbenu Tam," was one of Rashi's illustrious grandsons. During the Second Crusade, on the second day of the holiday of Shavuot, the Crusaders entered his hometown of Ramerupt, and pillaged and massacred many Jews.

They broke into Rabbenu Tam's house, plundered all his wealth, and seriously wounded Rabbenu Tam. On the next day, the 8th of Sivan, Rabbenu Tam escaped Rameru and the clutches of the Crusaders.

Two years later he completed his famous treatise on Jewish ritual and ethics, Sefer Hayashar.

Links:
Rabbi Yaakov ben Meir, the Rabbenu Tam
The Crusades

Laws and Customs

The day following a festival is called Isru Chag ("tied to the festival"). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted through the 12th of Sivan.

On Isru Chag, It is customary to hold a kinus Torah, a public gathering in which Torah thoughts are shared and discussed.

Daily Thought

Before Sinai, there was earth and there was heaven. If you wanted one, you abandoned the other.

At Sinai, the boundaries of heaven and earth were breached and the human being was empowered to fuse the two: To raise the earthly into the realm of the spirit, and to bring heaven down to earth.

Before Mount Sinai, the coarse material of which the world is made could not be elevated. It could be used as a medium, an aid in achieving enlightenment, but it itself could not be enlightened. The spirit was raised, but the earth remained dark.

At Sinai we were empowered to take physical objects and transform them into spiritual artifacts.

Our forefathers’ task was to enlighten the souls. Ours is to transform the darkness of a material world into light.