This week at Azamra
5 Heshvan 5781 / 23 October 2020

Torah Calendar

24 Tishri-6 Cheshvan 5781
October 12-24, 2020

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Attributes of the month of Tishri: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: VAV KEH YOD KEH, contained in the final Hebrew letters of the words of the verse vayir'U otaH sareY par'oH, "and the ministers of Pharaoh saw her" (Genesis 11:29). The month's corresponding letter is: LAMED; Human attribute: COITION; Body Part: GALL BLADDER; Tribe: JOSEPH; Constellation: MOZNA'IM (Libra, the Scales).

Monday 12 October / 24 Tishri
Issru Chag (Diaspora)

It is proper for those in the Diaspora to draw the spirit of the Tishri holidays into the days of the year by observing Isru Chag today with festive dress and meals.
Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polonnoye (d. 1784) leading student of the Baal Shem Tov and author of the first chassidic book, the Toldos Yaakov Yosef, and of Rabbi Chaim Zanvill Abramovitz, the saintly Ribnitzer (or Rimnitzer) Rebbe (1902-95).

Monday night-Tuesday 12-13 October / 25 Tishri

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev (1740-1809), the great Chassidic luminary and beloved advocate of the Jewish people.

Thursday 15 October / 27 Tishri
The usual Yom Kippur Katan" fast and special prayer service preceeding Rosh Chodesh are not observed on the eve of Rosh Chodesh of the months of Cheshvan, Tevet, Iyar and Tishri (ChaT'AT).

Friday night-Saturday 16-17 October / 29 Tishri
Shabbat BEREISHIT
Torah Reading: Gen. 1.1-6.8. Special Haftara for when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday: I Samuel 20:18-42.
Today is Shabbat Mevorachim when we bless the coming month of Marcheshvan. The Molad (junction of the sun and moon) will be on Thursday October 17 night at 03:23 a.m.
Today is the anniversary of the death of Shimon HaTzaddik (d. 311 B.C.E.), High Priest and last of the Men of the Great Assembly (Avot 1:1), whose grave in Jerusalem is visited by great numbers of people on this day.

Let's put special joy into our celebration of this Shabbat, because the way we celebrate Shabbat Bereishit sets the tone for all the Shabbatot of the new year.

Saturday night-Sunday 17-18 October / 30 Tishri
First day of Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) Marcheshvan

Ya'aleh VeYavo is added in the evening, morning and afternoon Amidah prayers of Rosh Chodesh and in the Birchat HaMazon Grace after Meals. "Half" Hallel is recited after the morning Amidah prayer, then the Torah is read in the Synagogue followed by the Mussaf Additional Service. It is appropriate to celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal, and fasting is forbidden.

Attributes of the month of Marcheshvan: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: VAV KEH KEH YOD, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of the words of the verse OOd'vash Hayom Hazeh YKVK, "and honey. This day HaShem..." (Deut 26:15-16). The month's corresponding letter is: NUN; Human attribute: SMELL; Body Part: INTESTINE; Tribe: LEVY; Constellation: AKRAV (Scorpio, the Scorpion).

Sunday night-Monday 18-19 October / 1 Marcheshvan
Second day of Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) Marcheshvan

Ya'aleh VeYavo is added in the evening, morning and afternoon Amidah prayers of Rosh Chodesh and in the Birchat HaMazon Grace after Meals. "Half" Hallel is recited after the morning Amidah prayer, then the Torah is read in the Synagogue followed by the Mussaf Additional Service. It is appropriate to celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal, and fasting is forbidden.
On this day King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem was completed (I Kings 6:38), although it was not inaugurated until the following Tishri.

King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem was completed on this day (I Kings 6:38), although it was not inaugurated until the following Tishri.

The sum of the mathematical value of the Hebrew letters of Marcheshvan (Mem 40 + Reish 200 + Chet 8 + Shin 300 + Vav 6 + Nun 50 + 1 for the kolel + 6 units for each of the Hebrew letters of the name) is 611, the same as that of the letters of the word Torah (Tav 400 + Vav 6 + Reish 200 + Heh 5 = 611). This is a sign that we should increase our Torah study during the long nights of the winter.

Wednesday night-Thursday October 21-22 / 6 Marcheshvan
Shabbat NOAH

Torah Reading: Gen. 6.9-11.32. Haftara Isaiah 54:1-55:5 (Sephardi ritual: Isaiah 54:1-10). After the Torah reading in the synagogue it is customary to bless those who intend to observe the optional BeHaB fasts on the following Monday, Thurday and Monday (see next week's entry).
Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, the Piaseczno Rebbe (1889–1943), who was deported from the Warsaw Ghetto and murdered in the Treblinka concentration camp, yet whose writings continue today to shine inspiration to many who practice Torah meditation and self-reckoning.


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