TODAY IN JUDAISM: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Today is: Tuesday, Elul 17, 5772 · September 4, 2012

Today's Laws & Customs

Elul Observances

As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking -- a time to review one's deeds and spiritual progress over the past year and prepare for the upcoming "Days of Awe" of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

As the month of Divine Mercy and Forgiveness (see "Today in Jewish History" for Elul 1) it is a most opportune time for teshuvah ("return" to G-d), prayer, charity, and increased Ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew) in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to G-d. Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi likens the month of Elul to a time when "the king is in the field" and, in contrast to when he is in the royal palace, "everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him, and he receives them all with a cheerful countenance and shows a smiling face to them all."

Specific Elul customs include the daily sounding of the shofar (ram's horn) as a call to repentance. The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms). Click below to view today's Psalms.

Chapter 49</ br> Chapter 50 </ br> Chapter 51

Elul is also the time to have one's tefillin and mezuzot checked by an accredited scribe to ensure that they are in good condition and fit for use.

Links: More on Elul

Today in Jewish History

Noah Dispatches Dove (2105 BCE)

Following the failed attempt to dispatch a raven from the ark (see "Today in Jewish History" for Elul 10), Noah sent a dove from the window of the ark to see if the great Flood that covered the earth had abated. "But the dove found no resting place for the sole of its foot" and returned to the ark; Noah waited seven days before making another attempt.

R. Schneur Zalman's parents marry (1743)

Wedding day of Rabbi Baruch and Rebbetzin Rivkah, the parents of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812 -- see entry for tomerrow, Elul 18), in 1743.

Daily Quote

If only we could kiss a Torah-scroll with the same love that my master (Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov) kissed the children when he took them to school as a teacher's assistant

- Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch

Daily Study

Chitas and Rambam for today:

Chumash: Ki Tavo, 3rd Portion Deuteronomy 26:16-26:19 with Rashi
English / Hebrew Linear Translation | Video Class

Tehillim: Chapters 83 - 87
Hebrew text
English text

Tanya: Iggeret HaKodesh, beginning of Epistle 15
English Text: Lessons in Tanya
Hebrew Text
• Audio Class: Listen | Download
Video Class

• Sefer Hamitzvos:
English Text | Hebrew Text | Audio: Listen | Download | Video Class
• 1 Chapter: Kiddush HaChodesh Chapter Eight
English Text | Hebrew Text | Audio: Listen | Download | Video Class
• 3 Chapters: Bechorot Chap. 8, Shegagot Chap. 1, 2
English Text | Hebrew Text | Audio: Listen | Download

Hayom Yom:
English Text | Video Class
As Jewish communities worldwide mark thirty days ("shloshim") since his passing,
 this Torah email is dedicated in loving memory of the legendary Mr. Sami Rohr
whose wisdom and philanthropyy
catalyzed Jewish communal transformation worldwide.

Follow Us:   Find Us On Facebook Follow Us on Twitter RSS Feeds

Featured Judaica:

Annotated Machzor: Rosh Hashanah
Here's the machzor that you've been waiting for! New clear typeset and easy to follow instructions.

Price: $25.95 SALE: $23.36

Be a Part of it
Enjoyed this email? Please help us continue to share the study of Torah and Jewish traditions:

Dedicate or sponsor an email to mark a special occasion
Make a donation to


Subscription Options:
Subscribe to more email lists
Subscription Management
Going on vacation?

Your subscribed email address is:
Change email address.

Important Tip:
To guarantee that your subscription emails continue to be delivered to you, please add to your address book, or "whitelist" it in any filters or antispam programs you may have.

© Copyright, all rights reserved.   Privacy Policy