This week at Azamra
20 Tishri 5780 / 19 October 2019

Torah Calendar

14-27 Tishri 5780
October 13-26, 2019

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

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).

Sunday October 13 / 14 Tishri

There is no better preparation for the coming festival of Succot than to provide food and other festival needs for the needy, and thus it is customary to give charity generously today. Prior to the beginning of Yom Tov one should prepare the Succah for the evening meal. The four kinds should be prepared before the beginning of the festival since the Lulav, Hadass and Aravot must be tied together (symbolizing unity) but tying a knot is forbidden on Yom Tov, though a bow is permissible.

Everyone who recites Psalm 27, "HaShem is my light", morning and evening from the beginning of Elul until the end of Succot is assured he will live out his years in goodness and pleasantness, and he removes from himself all the accusing forces and nullifies all harsh and evil decrees, and he will win his case in the Judgment.
-- ARI

Sunday night-Monday October 13-14 / 15 Tishri

Information about the laws, customs and prayers of Succot is available here.
On the first night of Succot it is a Torah mitzvah to eat bread in the Succah (parallel to the mitzvah of eating Matzah on the first night of Pesach) in memory of the Exodus from Egypt and of the Clouds of Glory with which G-d encompassed Israel in the wilderness.
Both in Israel and the Diaspora, the Four Kinds are taken on Monday morning. Many endeavor to make the blessing over the Four Kinds as early after the sunrise as possible, even before one's morning prayers, preferably in the Succah.
The Haftara on first day of Succot is Zechariah chapter 14, which speaks about the War of Gog and Magog, which is destined to take place on the festival of Succot.
The first day of Succot is the anniversary of the birth and death of the patriarch Jacob.

Monday night October 14 / Eve of 16 Tishri

Observance of Simchat Beit Hasho'evah begins in Israel tonight after the end of Yom Tov and in the Diaspora on the night of Tuesday October 15. This is in memory of the Temple ceremony of Simchat Beit Hasho'evah, drawing pure water from the Shiloah spring on the southern slope of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the unique water libation on the Temple altar each day of the festival of Succot. On each of the nights of Chol HaMoed Succot it is customary to gather in the synagogue for the recital of Psalms 120-134 to the accompaniment of music, song, dance and joy. It is said that Jonah came to prophecy through the joy of the Temple Simchat Beit Hasho'evah.

Monday night-Tuesday October 14-15 / 16 Tishri

Israel: Today is the first day of Chol HaMoed, the intermediate days of the festival, when necessary labors are permitted.
Diaspora: Today is observed as the second day of Yom Tov.

Wednesday night-Thursday October 16-17 / 18 Tishri

Today is the 209th Yahrzeit of the outstanding Chassidic luminary, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810). Lovers of R.Nachman the world over gather for special celebrations and festive meals (often held in the late afternoon on Thursday, corresponding to the time of the Rebbe's ascent from this world) accompanied by singing and dancing and words of encouragement to practice his teachings.

Thursday night-Friday October17-18 / 19 Tishri

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman, the Gaon of Vilna (1720-97).

Friday night-Saturday October 18-19 / 20 Tishri

After the Shacharit morning prayer, full Hallel is recited, but the Arba Minim (Four Kinds: Lulav, Etrog, Hadass and Arava) are not taken on Shabbat. Prior to the Torah reading in the synagogue it is customary to read Kohelet (Ecclesiastes). Today's Haftara reading is Ezekiel 38:18-39:16 which speaks about the War of Gog and Magog, which is destined to take place on Succot.

Saturday night-Sunday October 19-20 / 21 Tishri

Many follow the custom of staying awake for much or all of the night of Hoshana Rabba, when the entire book of Deuteronomy and the entire book of Psalms are read. After the morning Shacharit prayer and full Hallel, it is customary for all those in the synagogue who have the Four Kinds to circuit the Torah reading desk seven times while reciting the Hoshana prayers for salvation, after which the congregation offer prayers for redemption, rainfall and livelihood. At the conclusion of these prayers it is an ancient custom instituted by the prophets to take five willow branches and beat them five times on the floor.
In the afternoon of Hoshana Rabbah it is proper to partake of some refreshment with the appropriate blessings in the Succah prior to leaving for the last time to go back into the house. On leaving the Succah it is fitting to recite the special prayer printed in the festival prayer book. Some have the custom of kissing the very walls of the Succah as they leave as an expression of love for the mitzvah.

According to an oral tradition from the Baal Shem Tov, one should make every effort to pray with proper concentration on Hoshana Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, and this is conducive to prayer with proper concentration throughout the year.

Sunday night-Monday October 20-21 / 22 Tishri
SHEMINI ATZERET Eighth day of Solemn Assembly (Israel & Diaspora)

Both Israel and Diaspora communities celebrate the festival of Shemini Atzeret today, with Yizkor prayers for the departed and the Prayer for Rain. However, while in Israel Simchat Torah is also celebrated today, Diaspora communities will celebrate Simchat Torah separately on Monday night and Tuesday. Today's Shemini Atzeret Torah reading in the Diaspora is Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17 & Numbers 29:35-30:1 and the Haftara is I Kings 8:54-9:1.


In Israel today is Simchat Torah. The Torah Reading is VE-ZOS HABRACHAH, Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12. Additional reading: Genesis 1:1-2:3. Maftir: Numbers 29:35-30:1. Haftara: Joshua 1:1-18. Thus the communities in Israel today conclude the book of Deuteronomy and thereby complete the annual cycle of the Torah reading, after which a new cycle begins immediately with the reading of the first chapter of Genesis. Both on Sunday night after the evening service and on Monday morning before the Torah reading, it is customary in Israel to bring all the Torah scrolls in the synagogue out of the ark and to dance with them in a series of seven Hakafot ("circuits") around the synagogue. It is appropriate to take advantage of this joyous time for our own prayers in our own words "to learn, teach, guard and practice" the Torah. Many communities hold additional Hakafot on Yom Tov afternoon and on the following evening.

Monday night-Tuesday October 21-22 / 23 Tishri

In Israel, where today is the first weekday after the conclusion of the festival season, it is proper to draw the spirit of the Tishri holidays into the rest of the year by observing Issru Chag with festive dress and meals.


In the Diaspora, Simchat Torah is celebrated today. Torah Reading for Simchas Torah: VE-ZOS HABRACHAH, Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12. Additional reading: Genesis 1:1-2:3. Maftir: Numbers 29:35-30:1. Haftara: Joshua 1:1-18. See yesterday's entry for Simchat Torah customs.

Wednesday October 23 / 24 Tishri
Diaspora: ISSRU CHAG

In the Diaspora today is Issru Chag. It is proper to draw the spirit of the Tishri holidays into the rest of the year by observing Issru Chag with festive dress and meals.

Today we commence the 14th Annual KNOW YOUR BIBLE Study Cycle starting with the book of Joshua. The cycle, which covers all the books of the Prophets (Nevi'im) and Holy Writings (Ketuvim) excepting Psalms, will end on Simchat Torah 5781, October 11, 2020.

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 work, the Toldos Yaakov Yosef. Today is also the yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Zanvill Abramovitz, the saintly Ribnitzer (or Rimnitzer) Rebbe (1902-95).

Wednesday night-Thursday October 23-24 / 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.

Friday night-Saturday October 25-26 / 27 Tishri

Let us 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.

After the conclusion of the season of the High Holidays and Succot, this is the first "regular" Shabbat of the New Year, and it is fitting to celebrate with special joy in order to draw the holiness of the beginning of the year into its continuation. The weekly Torah Reading is Genesis. 1.1-6.8.
Today is Shabbat Mevorachim when we bless the coming month of Marcheshvan. Rosh Chodesh will be on Monday night-Tuesday-Wednesday October 28-30. The Molad (junction of the sun and moon) will be on Monday October 28 at 6:34 and 6 halakim p.m.

Subscribe for free emails

To subscribe to AZAMRA's free weekly news and diary emails, click here.