This week at Azamra
23 Av 5779 / 24 August 2019

Torah Calendar

11-23 Av 5779
August 12-24, '19

For this week's study schedule & classes, CLICK HERE

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 August 11-12 / 11 Av

The Nine Days prohibitions against eating meat and drinking wine continue to be observed on Sunday night 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 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 August 15-16 / 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 God and man 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 August 16-17 / 16 Av
Shabbat NACHAMU, the Shabbat of Comfort

Torah reading: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11; Haftara: Isaiah 40:1-26, "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 -- many in the environs of Haifa, Israel have the custom of visiting the Cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel.

Sunday night-Monday August 18-19 / 18 Av

Today marks the nintieth 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 August 21-22 / 21 Av

Yahrzeit of Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, the Belzer Rebbe (1877-1957).

Thursday night-Friday August 22-23 / 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 August 23-24 / 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 when we bless the coming month of Elul after the synagogue Torah reading. The Molad (junction of the sun and the moon) will be on Friday August 30 at 17:06 and 4 chalakim p.m. Rosh Chodesh is on Shabbat and Sunday August 31-September 1.
Today is the yahrzeit of R. Yaakov Yisrael Kanyevski the "Steipler Rav" (1899-1985).

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