of coming days of note in the Torah calendar

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11-23 Av 5775
27 July
-8 August

Attributes of the month of Av: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: KEH VAV YOD KEH, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of Haskeis Ushmo'a Yisrael Hayom... "...take heed and listen, O Israel, this day..." (Deut 27:9). The month's corresponding letter is: TET; Human attribute: HEARING; Body Part: LEFT KIDNEY ; Tribe: SHIMON; Constellation: ARYEH (Leo, the Lion).

Sunday night-Monday 26-27 July / 11 Av
The Nine Days prohibitions against eating meat and drinking wine continue to be observed on Sunday night 26 July after the conclusion of the fast, but because this year the fast of Tisha B'Av was deferred, the prohibitions against laundering, washing and haircuts that would normally apply until midday on the following day are lifted directly after the conclusion of the fast.

May we witness the return of the Divine Presence to Zion and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple quickly in our days. Amen!

Thursday night-Friday 30-31 July / 15 Av
The Fifteenth of Av (Tu B'Av) is one of the happiest and holiest, albeit hidden festivals of the Torah calendar, possessing the same sanctity as Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It marks the day when the decree of death for the generation of the wilderness was seen to have come to an end, and also the anniversary of the reconciliation of the Tribes of Israel with the Tribe of Benjamin after the war over the Concubine of Giv'ah, preventing the extinction of that tribe by enabling its surviving members to marry women of other tribes (Judges 19-20, 21:19; Ta'anit 30b). Under Hoshea ben Elah, king of the Ten Tribes, the roadblocks set up by Yeravaam ben Nevat (Jeraboam) preventing pilgrimage to the Jerusalem Temple were removed, and under the Roman occupation, the slain of Beitar were brought to burial. Thus the Fifteenth of Av is a day of reconciliation between man and God and between man and man.
"On this day the daughters of Israel would go out and dance in the vineyards and one who had no wife would take himself there..." (Ta'anit 30b). Today is particularly propitious for prayers to find and connect with one's soulmate.

From this point in the year onwards in the northern hemisphere, the nights are becoming noticeably longer, and we should add to our Torah studies during the night-time hours because "a man learns most of his Torah wisdom only at night" (Rambam, Laws of Torah Study 3:13).

Friday night-Saturday 31 July-1 August / 16 Av
Shabbat NACHAMU, the Shabbat of Comfort

Torah reading: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11; Haftara: Isaiah 40:126, "Comfort ye (nachamu), my people...", first of the Seven Haftarot of Consolation read between Tisha BeAv and Rosh Hashanah.
On Saturday night, after the end of Shabbat Nachamu -- announcing the coming redemption -- it is customary for those in the environs of Haifa, Israel to visit the Cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel.

Sunday night-Monday 2-3 August / 18 Av
Today marks the eighty-sixth anniversary of the 1929 Arab attacks on Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and other parts of Israel with the brutal murder of 113 martyrs.

Wednesday night-Thursday 5-6 August / 21 Av
Yahrzeit of Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, the Belzer Rebbe (1877-1957).

Thursday night-Friday 6-7 August / 22 Av
Anniversary of the murderous Arab bomb attack on the crowded Jerusalem Number 2 Bus going to the Kotel (Western Wall) in 2003.

Friday night-Saturday 7-8 August / 23 Av
Shabbat Parshat EIKEV
Torah Reading: EIKEV, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25. Haftara: Isaiah 49:14-51:3, second of the seven Haftarot of comfort.
Today is Shabbat Mevarchin: after the synagogue Torah reading we bless the coming month of Elul. The Molad (junction of the sun and the moon) will be on Shabbat August 15 at 04:23 and 8 chalakim a.m. Rosh Chodesh is on Shabbat and Sunday 15-16 August.
Today is the yahrzeit of R. Yaakov Yisrael Kanyevski the "Steipler Rav" (1899-1985).

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Azamra means "I will sing" (Psalms 146:2)

"And the way to sing the song of joy is by seeking the good in all people, especially in ourselves. Each good point is one more note in the song of life!"

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov