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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

Jethro was an explorer, a trekker through the stars that rule the darkness.

Jethro discovered the meaning of each deity of every pantheon of gods, the forces they controlled, the energies to be exploited by worshipping them, the place each held in the power struggle of nature and being.

Until he arrived at a place from which he could look back and say, “Their power is an illusion. They are nothing more than conduits, the agencies of a perfect, transcendent Oneness Who pervades the universe.”

Then He saw the miracles wrought for the Jewish people, wonders that engaged every force of nature in unison, that connected heaven and earth as one.

Jethro knew he had arrived at truth. With him, he brought the secret of every false power, the wisdom that emerges from darkness.

And now Torah could enter the world.

Darkness, he found, can teach us more about light than light could ever say.

Likutei Sichot vol. 11, Yitro 1. Ibid vol. 16.