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Shabbat, October 9, 2021

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

The 3rd of Cheshvan is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the famed Chassidic master Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin (1797-1850), known as "The Holy Ruzhiner."

Rabbi Israel was a great-grandson of Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch; a close friendship existed between the Ruzhiner Rebbe and the 3rd Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch.

Link: Three Stories

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a leader of Sephardic Jewry and chief rabbi of Israel, passed away on 3 Cheshvan, 5774 (2013), at the age of 93.

A widely published author on Jewish law, Rabbi Yosef was considered by scholars of all backgrounds to be a rabbinical authority with a rare grasp of nearly every area of Torah scholarship. He was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of a wide swath of halachic texts, ranging from the well-known to the most obscure. In his halachic rulings, he would often list dozens of previous rulings and then decide in accordance with what he perceived to be the majority opinion.

Link: Obituary of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Daily Thought

Water and oil both represent wisdom.

Water represents the wisdom of life in this world, a wisdom that flows from the tallest mountain to the lowest valley, from the highest cloud to the deepest ocean floor. In all things, that wisdom breathes, telling us how to live, how to bring harmony into this world.

Oil represents a wisdom that is beyond this world. It is called the hidden wisdom because it is hidden by its very nature, so that it must be squeezed out of its source with great effort.

But if it is a wisdom that is beyond this world, why make the effort to reveal it? If we can live without it, why search for it?

We search for it to know why we should live in this world. To discover it is not just a world, that it has purpose and meaning. That in every cell, it contains G-d.

That is the wisdom that shines from the oil of Chanukah. In its light, we see the divine even in the darkness.

From that wisdom emerges the flame we need to live true lives.