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29 Kislev-5 Tevet 5775
21-27 December 2014

Attributes of the month of KISLEV: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: VAV YOD KEH KEH, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of the words of the verse Vayar Yoshev Ha'aretz Hakena'ani, "and the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw ..." (Genesis 50:11). The month's corresponding letter is: SAMECH; Human attribute: SLEEP; Body Part: KIVAH-Stomach ; Tribe: BENJAMIN; Constellation: KESHET (Sagittarius, the Archer).

Saturday night-Sunday 20-21 December / 29 Kislev
5th light of Chanukah
On Saturday night the Chanukah lights may be kindled only following the departure of the Shabbat after nightfall (marked by the appearance of three medium-size stars). Some have the custom of lighting the Chanukah candles before reciting Havdalah, but the prevailing custom is to light the Chanukah candles after Havdalah.

Sunday night-Monday 21-22 December / 30 Kislev
6th light of Chanukah
First day of Rosh Chodesh TEVET
Ya'aleh VeYavo is introduced in the evening, morning and afternoon Amidah prayers of Rosh Chodesh and in the Birchat HaMazon Grace after Meals. Following the morning Amidah prayer, full Hallel is recited. In the Synagogue the special portion for Rosh Chodesh (Numbers 28:1-15) is then read from the Torah followed by the day's Chanukah reading (Numbers 7:42-47), after which the Rosh Chodesh Mussaf Additional Service is recited.
It is appropriate to celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal, and fasting is forbidden.
Today is the Yahrzeit of R. Avraham b'Reb Nachman Chazan (1849-1917), outstanding Breslover scholar and author of Kochvey Ohr and Biur HaLikutim, a commentary on Rabbi Nachman's Likutey Moharan.

Attributes of the month of TEVET: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: KEH YOD KEH VAV, contained in the final Hebrew letters of the words of the verse [Gadlu] laYHVH eetY uneromemaH shemO , "[magnify] HaShem with me, and let us exalt His name ..." (Psalms 34:4). The month's corresponding letter is: AYIN; Human attribute: ANGER; Body Part: LIVER; Tribe: DAN; Constellation: GEDI (Capricorn, the Goat).

Monday night-Tuesday 22-23 December / 1 Tevet
7th light of Chanukah
Second day of Rosh Chodesh TEVET
Ya'aleh VeYavo is introduced in the evening, morning and afternoon Amidah prayers of Rosh Chodesh and in the Birchat HaMazon Grace after Meals. Following the morning Amidah prayer, full Hallel is recited. In the Synagogue the special reading for Rosh Chodesh (Numbers 28:1-15) is read from the Torah followed by the day's Chanukah reading (Numbers 7:48-53), after which the Rosh Chodesh Mussaf Additional Service is read.
It is appropriate to celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal, and fasting is forbidden.
On this day Esther was taken to the palace of Achashverosh (Esther 2:16).

Tuesday evening-Wednesday 23-24 December / 2 Tevet
Eighth light of Chanukah
The eighth and last light of Chanukah takes us beyond the finite world (encompassed by the seven lower sefirot) to the higher world of Binah (Understanding), the eighth level above Malchut. At the time of the lighting of the eighth light and for the whole last day of Chanukah tremendous spiritual influence flows down to all who are willing to open themselves to it. In the synagogue after the morning service, we read the special reading for the last day of Chanukah (Numbers 7:54-8:4).
HAPPY CHANUKAH!!!

Thursday night-Friday 25-26 December / 4 Tevet
Today is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Gershon Hanoch-Henich ben Yaakov Leiner, the Rebbe of Radzin (1839-91), known as the Baal Techeiles on account of his research and discovery of the Techeiles blue dye for the Tzitzit.

Friday night-Saturday 26-27 December / 5 Tevet
Shabbat Parshat VAYIGASH
Torah Reading: Gen. 44:18-47:27; Haftara: Ezekiel 37:15-2, prophesying the reconciliation between the House of Judah and the Ten Tribes.

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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