This week at Azamra
24 Kislev 5782 / 28 November 2021

Torah Calendar

10 Kislev-7 Tevet 5782
November 14-December 11, 2021

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

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).

Tuesday night-Wednesday November 16-17 / 13 Kislev

Today is the yahrzeit of the Talmudic Amora Ravina, who completed the work of his teacher, Rav Ashi, in editing the Babylonian Talmud. Because Ravina's father died young, he was taught Torah by his mother.

Wednesday night-Thursday November 17-18 / 14 Kislev

Today is the birthday and yahrzeit of Reuven, son of Jacob and Leah.

In the holy city of Hebron today is celebrated as "Purim of the Window" because in 1741 the Turkish governor imposed a levy of 50,000 grush on the Jews of the city threatening to wipe them out if they did not pay within three days. After three days of communal fasting the beadle of the synagogue discovered a purse on the window sill containing the necessary sum in full.

Thursday night-Friday November 18-19 / 15 Kislev

Today is the yartzeit of "Rebbi", Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi (Rabbi Judah "the Prince"), 2nd century compiler of the Mishnah, direct descendant of King David via Hillel, and head of the Sanhedrin in the time of the Roman Emperor Antoninus, who was his personal friend.

Friday night-Saturday November 19-20 / 16 Kislev

Torah reading: Gen. 32:.4-36:43. Haftara: Obadiah 1:1-21

Sunday night-Monday November 21-22 / 18 Kislev

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Baruch of Medzeboz (1757-1810) son of the Baal Shem Tov's daughter Adil and uncle of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. It is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Levy Yitzchak Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe (1921-2009).

Monday night-Tuesday November 22-23 / 19 Kislev

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritch (c.1704-1772), first leader and propagator of Chassidus after the death of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov.

Today is also the anniversary of the liberation of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady, founder of Chabad Chassidus, after being imprisoned by the Russian government in St Petersburg on false charges. It is celebrated as a joyous festival and is regarded as "the New Year of Chassidus", when Chassidim greet one another: "May you be signed and sealed for a good year in the study and practice of the ways of Chassidus!". On the same Hebrew date in 2004 the Iraqi tyrant Sadaam Hussein was captured.

Thursday November 25 / 21 Kislev

In the time of the Second Temple, today was celebrated as a festival marking the anniversary of the day when Shimon HaTzaddik, the High Priest, went out in his priestly robes to meet Alexander of Macedon, who on the instigation of the Samaritans was marching to Jerusalem to destroy the Temple. On seeing Shimon HaTzaddik approaching, Alexander dismounted his horse and bowed, recognizing him as the figure he always saw before him whenever he was victorious in battle, and he relented.

Friday November 26 / 22 Kislev

Chanukah begins on Sunday night 2 December. Some have the custom of preparing the Chanukah candalabrum today - three days before the festival.

Friday night-Saturday November 26-27 / 23 Kislev
Shabbat Parshat VAYEISHEV
Shabbat MEVARCHIN blessing the coming month of Tevet

Torah reading: Gen. 37:1-40:23 telling the story of Joseph's sale into slavery in Egypt. Haftara: Amos 2:6-3:8. After the synagogue Torah reading, we bless the coming month of Tevet. Rosh Chodesh will be on the coming Friday night-Saturday-SundayDecember 3-5. The molad (junction of the sun and the moon) is on Shabbat December 4 2021 at 1:39 and 14 chalakim p.m.

Saturday night-Sunday November 27-28 / 24 Kislev
Eve of Chanukah

On the Eve of Chanukah it is good to make an early start to the day. One should prepare the Chanukah lamp in good time for candle-lighting. It is also good to have any special Chanukah foods etc. ready before candle-lighting so as to be free to enjoy the lights after they are lit, to sing Chanukah songs, tell about the miracle and celebrate with dear ones.

Today is the anniversary of the prophecy of Haggai (2:10ff) taunting the priests into learning the laws of the Temple and telling Zerubavel, leader of Judah, that the kingdoms of the earth will be overthrown for the sake of Melech Mashiach his descendant.

Sunday night-Monday November 28-29 / 25 Kislev
First light of Chanukah

The preferred times for people to light their Chanukah candles are either a few minutes after sunset as twilight descends, or after nightfall, directly after the evening prayers. Where this is not possible the lights should be lit later in the evening when the most people are likely to see them, since the lights come to publicize the enduring miracle of Chanukah. For laws and customs of the festival, click HERE.

Chanukah is a festival of thanksgiving for HaShem's miracles. The special prayer of thanksgiving for the Chanukah miracles ('Al Hanissim) is added daily to each Amidah prayer and Birkhat HaMazon (Grace after Meals). On each of the days of Chanukah, after the morning (shacharit) Amidah prayer, "full" Hallel (Psalms 113-118 without omissions) is recited.
Special Chanukah Torah reading: On each of the days of Chanukah there is a special Torah reading selected from the account of the sacrifices offered by the Princes of the Twelve Tribes in celebration of the inauguration of the wilderness Sanctuary (Numbers 7:1-8:4).
The days of Chanukah are days of joy. It is forbidden to fast and it is customary to hold feasts and to eat some fried foods (such as doughnuts -- no need for excess!!!) in memory of the miracle of the oil, and a milk or cheese dish in memory of the heroism of Yehudit, who fed the Greek general Holfurnos until he was drowsy and then cut off his head.

The first day of Chanukah is the anniversary of the completion of the Sanctuary in the Wilderness (though it was not inaugurated until the following Nissan) -- and when Moses saw that the work was complete, he blessed the people "that the Shechinah should rest on the work of your hands... 'And let the pleasantness of HaShem our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us...'" (Psalms 90:17).
In the Second Temple on this day the Altar was reconsecrated by the Hasmonean priests, who miraculously found one intact flask of undefiled oil for kindling the Temple Menorah (candelabrum), and although according to the laws of nature the quantity of oil was sufficient for only one day, the oil miraculously sufficed for eight days until new ritually-pure oil could be produced.

Monday night-Tuesday November 29-30 / 26 Kislev
Second light of Chanukah

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Avraham ben David of Posquieres, known as the Raavad (c. 1125-1198), a key link in the chain of the transmission of the Kabbalah and author of the Hasagot (critical glosses) on Rambam's comprehensive Torah law code, the Mishneh Torah. Today is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kahn, the Rebbe of Toldos Aharon (d. 1997).

Thursday night-Friday December 2-3 / 29 Kislev
Fifth light of Chanukah

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.
On Friday afternoon, the Chanukah lights must be lit before sunset, and they are lit before the Shabbat candles. It is preferable to pray the afternoon Minchah service before kindling the Chanukah lights.

Friday night-Saturday December 3-4 / 30 Kislev
Shabbat Parshat MIKEITZ; Shabbat CHANUKAH
First day of Rosh Chodesh Tevet
Sixth light of Chanukah

At the Friday night Shabbat table many have the custom of singing Ma'oz Tzur and other Chanukah songs. Yaaleh Veyavo for Rosh Chodesh and Al Hanissim for Chanukah are added in the Birchat Hamazon and in the the Shabbat Amidah prayers.

Torah Reading: Mikeitz, Gen. 41:1-44:17; Rosh Chodesh reading Numbers 28:9-15 ; Chanukah reading Numbers 7:42-47; Haftara: Zechariah 2:14-4:7.

In the Synagogue on Shabbat morning three Torah scrolls are brought from the ark in order to read the weekly portion, the Rosh Chodesh portion and the special reading for Chanukah from separate scrolls, avoiding the need to waste the congregation's time while rolling one scroll from section to section. The Mussaf service is the special Mussaf when Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbat with the addition of Al Hanissim. At the conclusion of the middle blessing of Mussaf, "blessed are You HaShem who sanctifies the Shabbat, Israel and the New Moons", it is proper have in mind the permutation of the letters of Havayah for the new month of Tevet (see below).

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).

Saturday night-Sunday December 4- 5 / 1 Tevet
Second day of Rosh Chodesh Tevet
Seventh light of Chanukah

On Saturday night the Chanukah lights may be kindled only after nightfall (marked by the appearance of three medium-size stars). Some have the custom of lighting the Chanukah candles before Havdalah, however the prevailing custom is to light the Chanukah candles after Havdalah.
Yaaleh Veyavo for Rosh Chodesh and Al Hanissim for Chanukah are added in Birchat Hamazon and the Amidah prayers. For further information on the laws and customs of Chanukah, click HERE.
On 1st Tevet Esther was taken to the palace of Achashverosh (Esther 2:16).

Sunday night-Monday December 5-6 / 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).

Tuesday night-Wednesday December 7-8 / 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 rediscovery of the Techeiles blue dye for the Tzitzit.

Thursday December 9 / 5 Tevet

"In the tenth month on the fifth day of the month a fugitive came to me from Jerusalem to say 'The city has been struck'" (Ezekiel 33:21).
Today is the anniversary of the martyrdom in Italy of Rabbi Shlomo Molcho (1500-32), an outstanding prophetic kabbalist and visionary.

Friday night-Saturday December 10-11 / 7 Tevet
Shabbat Parshat VAYIGASH

Torah Reading: Vayigash, 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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