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Newsletter 08/03/2011

Congregation Beth Shalom

Weekly News and Updates, August 3, 2011

Shabbat Services 8:00 p.m., Friday Evening, August ( 5 Av)

Service will begin at 8:00 p.m. at Beth Shalom on Friday, August 5, 2011.

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Fairfield

Shabbat (candle lighting) begins at 8:02 p.m. on Friday, August 5. Shabbat ends (Havdalah begins) Saturday, 9:04 p.m. in Fairfield.


Tisha B’Av Fast Starts Monday Night, August 8
Submitted by Robert Rabinoff

The fast of Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of both the First and Second Temples (as well as a number of other calamities that have befallen us over the past 2000 years of exile), begins Monday night at 8:15 PM (in Fairfield) and continues until 8:57 PM Tuesday night.  It is the same type of fast as Yom Kippur — no eating or drinking, no wearing leather shoes, no bathing, no anointing with oils (or body lotions), and no marital intimacy (and no extra-marital intimacy either).  The Book of Lamentations is read after the evening services, and special dirges (kinot) are read after the morning services.  We conduct ourselves as mourners; except when we lose a close family member we understand that their soul has gone to its eternal reward and are comforted by that thought.  In this case, the only comfort we can take is Gd’s promise of eventual redemption.  It is a time of intense t’shuvah.  Although there is no prohibition of doing work, it is certainly not in keeping with the spirit of the day to go about our normal activities; rather we should be pondering the Sages statement: Any generation in which the Temple is not rebuilt is like the generation in which it was destroyed.  According to the weather report Fairfield can expect slightly cooler temperatures (high 80’s) than we’ve been having, but it is very important to hydrate before the fast.  It is traditional to have a se’udah mafseket, a final meal, before the fast starts, but of course stuffing oneself is just going to make you very uncomfortable, so it’s best to eat and especially drink throughout the day Monday.  Although Tisha B’Av is an extremely sad day, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the challenges Gd gives us, and to understand that these challenges come from His love for us and desire to see us grow closer to Him every day.  Let’s be sure to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.