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“The Love Story,” A Tragedy with a Happy Ending!

July 18, 2011, by

One way of looking at Jewish History is that it is a “love story,” where the “main characters” are HaShem and the Jewish People (in fact, that is the theme of “Shir HaShirim,” the Song of Songs). The following is a micro-micro-miniature version of the same theme. There are moments of great closeness, and there […]

The Story of Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza

July 18, 2011, by

“Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘What is the meaning of the verse in The Book of “Mishlei” (Proverbs 28) which reads, ‘Fortunate is the one who is always fearful, but the one who is hard of heart will suffer misfortune?’ It was because of ‘Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza’ that Yerushalayim was destroyed …” “For there was a certain […]

The Story of the “Churban,” The Destruction

July 18, 2011, by

On Tisha B’Av, unlike any other occasion, except for the “Shiva,” the seven-day period of mourning for a loved one, there exists a prohibition to study the Torah. This is because the study of Torah is considered a delight and a source of joy, as King David says in Tehilim, “The Laws of Hashem are […]

Digest of Tisha B’Av Laws

July 18, 2011, by

HALAKHA GUIDE / הלכות (According to the Ashkenazic practice) Notes in [brackets] based upon contributions from Rabbi Ari Kahn, whom we thank for his valuable input! Abbreviations A.H. = Arukh HaShulĥan B.H. = Biur Halakha E.Y. = Even Yisrael (Fischer) K.H. = Kaf HaĤayim K.S.A. = Kitzur Shulĥan Arukh M.B. = Mishna Berura M.H. = […]

Getting Married on Shivah Asar BeTammuz

July 18, 2011, by

Fast days, with the exception of Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, begin in the morning. Does that mean we can enjoy ourselves the night before? In particular, the Three Weeks, with the custom in memory of the destruction of the Temple of refraining from having parties, begin on Shivah Asar BeTammuz (this year observed on […]

About the Three Weeks: A Chronology of Destruction

July 18, 2011, by

The following is a list of the major events leading up to the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. First Temple: 3316 Yehoyakim ben Yoshiahu becomes King of Judea (II Kings 23:36) 3320 Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon conquers Judea. He removes part of the Temple’s holy vessels and children of the royal […]

The 17th of Tammuz

July 18, 2011, by

The 17th day in the Jewish month of Tammuz, Jews the world over fast and lament to commemorate the many calamities that have befallen our people on this ominous day. The purpose of such fasts in the Jewish calendar is, according to Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov’s Book of Our Heritage, “to awaken hearts towards repentance through […]