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Jewish Holidays

Devarim: Serenity and Desire

July 22, 2009, by

Tisha B’av and Devarim (the parsha) make appropriate bedfellows. Chazal find in Moshe’s eicha complaint echoes of Yirmiyahu and future lamentations. Thus the prevalent minhag of chanting that verse in the sad eicha tune. Devarim, Moshe’s retrospective is all about what could have been and what went wrong. Finally, it is a parsha that sows […]

Mishnas Chayim – The Three Weeks: What Are We Missing?

July 21, 2009, by

In keeping with the atmosphere of aveilus (mourning) for the Beis Hamikdash, Jews the world over meticulously observe the various restrictions that are in effect at this time. In fact, as the Bach points out (Orach Chaim 551), many of the practices adopted and adhered to over the centuries go well beyond the letter of […]

A Nation’s Loss: National Mourning in the Jewish Tradition

July 7, 2009, by

NATIONAL MOURNING IN THE JEWISH TRADITION The news of a loved one’s death utterly transforms us and our perception of the world. A young man, returning to his studies after being called home following the death of his father said, “The buildings were all in their familiar places, but it was a wholly different place… […]

History and Laws of the Fast of Shiva Asar BeTammuz

June 26, 2006, 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 […]

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