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Jewish Holidays

The Prophecy Shall Come True

July 19, 2011, by

The Talmud, on the last page of the Makkot tractate (24b) relates a story about Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Yehoshua, and Rabbi Akiva who were on their way up to Jerusalem. Upon approaching the Temple Mount, the rabbis saw a fox emerging from the location of the Holy of Holies. Rabban Gamliel, […]

“Three of Punishment, Seven of Consolation”

July 19, 2011, by

(Much of the following material was found in “Chazon HaMikra,” by Rav Yissachar Yaakovson, Published by Sinai, Tel Aviv, 5719) Rabbi Avraham ben David of Luneil, the author of “Sefer HaManhig,” writes, “From Parshat Bereshit through the 17th of Tammuz, the Haftarah is chosen to correspond to the Parshah topic by topic; but from there […]

The Connection Between Parshat Devarim and Tisha B’Av

July 19, 2011, by

Parshas Devarim is always read on the Shabbos right before Tisha B’Av. The Biur Halacha (528:4) explains that this is purposefully done in order that Moshe Rabbeinu’s admonition to the Jews coincide with the Tisha B’Av period. One may ask why it is necessary for the specific admonition in Parshas Devarim to be read in […]

Laws and Traditions of the Nine Days

July 19, 2011, by

With Rosh Chodesh Av, the more intense period of mourning for the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, known as The Nine Days, begins. “As Av enters, we diminish our joy”. This statement of the mishna is manifest in many laws & customs observed during the first nine days of the month of Av (Actually it […]

Rosh Chodesh Av: What Do We Do?

July 19, 2011, by

Do we say Hallel on Rosh Chodesh Av? Yes, we do. But the question is not a silly one. The festive flavor usually associated with Rosh Chodesh is hardly in evidence. The mishna says: “As Av enters, we diminish joy”. Rosh Chodesh Av is the beginning of the stricter mourning period for the destruction of […]

Beyond Lip Service: Building the Beis Hamikdosh Word by Word

July 19, 2011, by

426 years ago, a few days before Tisha B’Av, R. Yitzchok Luria, zt”l, the Ari Hakodosh, passed away in Tzefas. The outpouring of grief at his untimely death merged with the terror and despair running rampant through the streets of Tzefas, then in the grip of a deadly plague epidemic. The Ari had known his […]

The Tisha B’Av Water Miracle

July 19, 2011, by

In Gehinnom Several days after Shavuos, in early June of 1944, the Germans took some 5,000 of us by train from Auschwitz to Warsaw in order to clear away the ruins of the Jewish ghetto that had been reduced to rubble by German shells and bombs in Nisson of 1943. Besides removing the rubble of the […]

The Haftarah of Shabbat Chazon

July 19, 2011, by

The Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, is called Shabbat Chazon – the Shabbat of foretelling – as we read the Haftara portion from the prophecy of Isaiah (1:1-27), as the final of the “three of affliction,” readings. Rabbi Mendel Hirsch points out, the prophet does not lament because the Bet HaMikdash (The Temple in Jerusalem) was […]

Tisha B’Av: The Haftarot of Consolation

July 19, 2011, by

On the Shabbos immediately after Tisha B’Av, we read the haftarah of “Nachamu, Nachamu” from Yeshayahu. Each consecutive Shabbos, until Rosh Hashanah, we read another selection from Yeshayahu, in which the prophet continues to comfort the Jewish People, following the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of our people from our land. Each selection elaborates […]

The Connection Between Tisha B’Av and Sefer Iyov (Job)

July 19, 2011, by

Although it is prohibited to learn most Torah topics on Tisha B’Av, one may nevertheless study Eichah, sections of Jeremiah which relate to the Destruction and related Midrashim, the laws of Avelus (Mourning) and Ta’anis (Fasts), as well as Sefer Iyov (The Book of Job). (See Shulchan Aruch O.C. 554:1-3.) It is easily understood why […]

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