This week at Azamra

Torah Calendar

28 Av-4 Elul 5777
20-26 August '17

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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).

Monday 21 August / 29 Av

Today is observed as Yom Kippur Katan ("minor day of atonement"), a day of optional fasting (from dawn to nightfall) and penitential prayers in preparation for the coming Rosh Chodesh Elul, which begins on Monday night.

Monday night-Tuesday 21-22 August / 30 Av
Rosh Chodesh Elul First Day

Add Ya'aleh Veyavo in evening, morning and afternoon prayers and in Grace after Meals. Following the morning Shacharit prayer, "half" Hallel and the additional Musaf prayer are recited. On Rosh Chodesh it is customary to eat a festive meal with bread.

Chodesh Tov UMevorach!!!
May it be a Good and Blessed Month!!!

Attributes of the month of Elul: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: KEH KEH VAV YOD, contained in the final Hebrew letters of the words of the verse ootzedakaH tihyeH lanOO kI "and it shall be righteousness to us when..." (Deut 6:25). The month's corresponding letter is: YOD; Human attribute: ACTION; Body Part: LEFT HAND ; Tribe: GAD; Constellation: BETULAH (Virgo, the Maiden).

Tuesday night-Wednesday 22-23 August / 1 Elul
Rosh Chodesh Elul Second Day

Add Ya'aleh Veyavo in evening, morning and afternoon prayers and in Grace after Meals. Following the morning Shacharit prayer, "half" Hallel and the additional Musaf prayer are recited. On Rosh Chodesh it is customary to eat a festive meal with bread.

On this day Moses ascended Mt Sinai for his third forty-day stay culminating on 10 Tishri (Yom Kippur) when he received the Second Tablets after accomplishing G-d's reconciliation with Israel following the sin of the golden calf. In our times too, these forty days are a time of supreme favor (Ratzon) and the gates of Teshuvah, return to G-d, are open to all.

At the conclusion of the morning prayers the Shofar is sounded today and every day (except Shabbat) until one day prior to the eve of Rosh Hashanah, as a reminder to arouse ourselves to Teshuvah in preparation for the coming Days of Awe.

From today onwards until Shemini Atzeret (last day of Succot), Psalm 27 "HaShem is my light..." is recited daily after the morning and afternoon (Chassidic custom) or evening (Lithuanian custom) prayers. "Everyone who recites it morning and evening 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).

It is appropriate to have one's Mezuzot and Tefilin checked during the month of Elul to ensure that they are not flawed.

During the Elul season of repentance, Israel are like the inhabitants of a city who go out to greet the King in the fields prior to His entry into the city (on Rosh Hashanah), and now each individual has the opportunity to approach the King in person in advance of the coming Day of Judgment.

Thursday 24 August / 2 Elul

Edot HaMizrach, the Sephardic communities, today rise before the dawn to recite Selichot, penitential prayers, continuing for forty days until Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Ashkenazi communties will begin Selichot on 26 Elul (Saturday night-Sunday September 16-17).

Thursday night-Friday 24-25 August / 3 Elul

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine, outstanding Jewish thinker, Halachist and Kabbalist, and founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav. Today is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelovitch (1886-1948), founding father of the Yeshiva system in America and head of Torah VeDaas, Brooklyn New York.

Friday night-Saturday 25-26 August / 4 Elul
Shabbat Parshat SHOFTIM

Torah Reading: SHOFTIM, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9. Haftara: Isaiah 51:12-52:12.


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