Weekly Cycle

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Tractates and 32 Paths (22-day cycles)

1a Brachot and Rosh Hashanah

Kriat Shemah (accepting the yoke of G-d's kingship)

1b Shabbat and Yom Kippur

Teshuvah is a two-way process. We are knocking on G-d's door as poor people bereft of mitzvot. If both us and Hashem participate in the Teshuva process (Hashiveinu Hashem Elecha veNashuva), then both are pturim.

2a Eruvim and Sukkot

- Gemara discussion compares it to Sukkah.
- Aravah; mixing, shaking together the arbah minim

2b Pesachim and Cheshvan

Or L'Arbah Asar Bodkim et HaChametz L'Or HaNer.
This is the beginning of Avodat HaBerurim. We move from G-d as Creator to G-d as redeemer. We redeem the chametz through engaging in mitzvot (Ner Mitzvah Torah Or)
We go from "Or" (light, the first act of Creation) to "the 14th" (gematria of Yad). And mitzvot elevate the chametz back to the Or, the source of Creation.
My revered father, [the Rebbe Rashab,] once told a chassid at yechidus: “From the time the Holy One, blessed be He, told Avraham, ‘Go forth from your land,’5 and thereafter ‘Avram journeyed on, continuing to travel southward,’6 the mystical mission of beirurim began. [This term signifies the task of sifting materiality, and elevating the Divine sparks that are embedded within all permissible entities and activities, by using them with spiritual purpose.] 

3a Shekalim and Cheshvan

Temple, elevating the physical (two halves - male and female - see Heh and Vav

3b Yoma and Cheshvan/Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Yahrzeit of Matisyahu Kohen Gadol

4a Sukkah and Kislev/Chanukah

8 days paralleling Sukkot; siyum is the story of Miriam bat Bilgah, at the time of Chanukah, who had assimilated and married a Greek guard, who kicked the altar.

4b Beitzah and  Kislev/Chanukah

Egg that was born on Yom Tov is something that was concealed that is now revealed

5a Rosh Hashanah and Chanukah/Teveth

- Rosh Chodesh was mitzvah Greeks wanted to abolish. The calendar is the source of Jewish wisdom in the eyes of the nation.
- Machloket regarding Nissan and Tishrei reflects Machloket Yehudah and Yosef

5b Ta'anit and Teveth/Fast of Teveth

Ta'anit is all about fasting (connection is pretty obvious). (In the division of the Mishna, it also falls here). Also, the Tractate begins with the time we begin to ask for rain in our prayers. This cycle falls around the time of the 4th of December, when outside of Israel we change our prayers to ask for rain

6a Megillah and Teveth

Law of Blessing before the Torah / Torah Sh'Bichtav

6b Moed Katan and Yud Shvat (day of Siyum)

Mourning for the Friediker Rebbe

7a Chagigah and Tu B'Shvat

Trees singing (Chagigah 14b)

7b Yevamot (and Seder Nashim) and 22nd Shvat

Yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka; 
Days leading up to Adar - duality, mutual responsibility/partnership

8a Ketubot and Adar/Purim

Ketubot starts by speaking about a young virgin that is to get married, like the beginning of Megilat Esther.

8b Nedarim and Adar

Mitzvah of Half-Shekel/obligations to the Temple needed collecting by the end of Adar

Rabbi Fohrman from AlefBeta explains beautifully the connection between Purim and Nedarim, based on the words of Mordechai to Esther and the discussion of annulment of vows in Numbers 30:14

14Any vow or any binding oath of self affliction, her husband can either uphold it or revoke it. ידכָּל־נֵ֛דֶר וְכָל־שְׁבֻעַ֥ת אִסָּ֖ר לְעַנֹּ֣ת נָ֑פֶשׁ אִישָׁ֥הּ יְקִימֶ֖נּוּ וְאִישָׁ֥הּ יְפֵרֶֽנּוּ:
15However, if her husband remained silent from day to day, he has upheld all the vows and prohibitions she has assumed; he has upheld them since he remained silent on the day he heard it. טווְאִם־הַֽחֲרֵשׁ֩ יַֽחֲרִ֨ישׁ לָ֥הּ אִישָׁהּ֘ מִיּ֣וֹם אֶל־יוֹם֒ וְהֵקִים֙ אֶת־כָּל־נְדָרֶ֔יהָ א֥וֹ אֶת־כָּל־אֱסָרֶ֖יהָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָלֶ֑יהָ הֵקִ֣ים אֹתָ֔ם כִּי־הֶֽחֱרִ֥שׁ לָ֖הּ בְּי֥וֹם שָׁמְעֽוֹ:

14For if you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the Jews from elsewhere, and you and your father's household will perish; and who knows whether at a time like this you will attain the kingdom?" ידכִּ֣י אִם־הַֽחֲרֵ֣שׁ תַּֽחֲרִ֘ישִׁי֘ בָּעֵ֣ת הַזֹּאת֒ רֶ֣וַח וְהַצָּלָ֞ה יַֽעֲמ֤וֹד לַיְּהוּדִים֙ מִמָּק֣וֹם אַחֵ֔ר וְאַ֥תְּ וּבֵֽית־אָבִ֖יךְ תֹּאבֵ֑דוּ וּמִ֣י יוֹדֵ֔עַ אִם־לְעֵ֣ת כָּזֹ֔את הִגַּ֖עַתְּ לַמַּלְכֽוּת:

9a Nazir and Nissan/Pessach preparations/Omer

We don't cut our hair during the Counting of the Omer; we also take on extra stringencies related to chametz (the Nazir is told to avoid "Chometz Yayin"; we also go to the mikvah and, in order to eat the Korban Pessach, we would have to avoid contact with the dead.

9b Sotah and Pessach/Omer

It is customary to study the tractate of Sotah during the Counting of the Omer, as it has 49 dapim (folios) and the sacrifice brought by the Sotah was of barley, like the omer.

10a Gittin and Pessach/Omer

Free oneself from Egypt/Ba'al

10b Kedushin and Iyar/Omer

Preparing for the Wedding with Hashem

11a Nezikin (Baba Kama, Baba Metzia, Baba Basra) and Lag Ba'Omer

Main laws of Bein Adam L'Chaveroh

11b Sanhedrin (Sanhedrin and Makkos) and Omer/Rosh Chodesh Sivan

End of Makkos talks about Rabbi Akiva and how he comforts his companions (lessons related to the counting of the Omer)

12a Shvuot and Shavuot


12b Avodah Zarah and Sivan 

Chet HaEgel

13a Horayos and Tammuz

Sin of the Spies, a mistake made by the leaders of the generation, which led to a sin by the entire community. 

13b Zevachim and Tammuz

14a Menachos and the Three Weeks

14b Chullin and Tisha B'Av

15a Bechoros and Av

15b Arachin-Temura and Av/Rosh Chodesh Elul

Arachin: Mesirat Nefesh - dedicating one's whole being in accordance to the Torah (Av). Making and accounting of one's worth (Elul).

Temura: Mistakenly "switching" a holy object/endeavor for something not holy, and by doing so ultimately making both of them holy - Teshuva, elevating the fallen sparks.

16a Kerisus and the first days of Elul

Cheshbon HaNefesh
Talmud starts with the enumerating of major major sins
Why give a number? To explain to you that each one has to be atoned for separately, even if it was all one big "forgetting." In Elul, there is a tendency to think, "You know, let me just do a "general" Teshuvah, that should be good enough." The Talmud comes to teach us, "No, each separate action requires its own atonement, even if it was all one great forgetting."

16b Meilah-Tamid and Elul

Two kinds of Teshuvah
1) for using holy instruments for non-sacred purposes (Meilah)
2) to implement consistency and constant dedication (Tamid)

17a Niddah and Rosh Hashanah

7-day and 11-day cycles

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