Various Prayers & Blessings

The 24th of Kislev (The Day before Hanukkah) is Special

The foundations of the Second Temple were laid on this day  

| 11.12.17 | 13:51
The 24th of Kislev (The Day before Hanukkah) is Special
The Kaf Hachaim says we should read the chapter in the Prophet Haggai that discusses the foundations that were laid for the Second Temple which actually took place on the 24th of Kislev. The source of the Kaf Hachaim’s recommendation is the Talmud in Sanhedrin 101a where it says: “Anyone who reads verses at their appropriate time brings good to the world as the verse says, ‘How good is something in its time’.” In the tractate Sofrim (scribes) (18, 5, 1) it says: “Anyone who says verses over in their right time is considered as if he built a new altar and offered a sacrifice on it.” This is not a prayer in the classical sense but since the tamud says that saying it can bring blesings so in a way it is similar to praying in which our words arouse G-d to shower bounty on the world.

Here are the verses in Haggai that discuss laying the foundations of the Second Temple: (Haggai 2, 10-23). Read them this Tuesday which is the 24th of Kislev, (December 12th) and bring goodness to the world.  The Hebrew will be followed by English. Going through the verses you will see that G-d sent blessings to the world on this day because the foundation stones were laid.

י בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַתְּשִׁיעִי, בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתַּיִם לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ--הָיָה, דְּבַר-ה' אֶל-חַגַּי הַנָּבִיא, לֵאמֹר.  יא כֹּה אָמַר, ה' צבקות שְׁאַל-נָא אֶת-הַכֹּהֲנִים תּוֹרָה, לֵאמֹר.  יב הֵן יִשָּׂא-אִישׁ בְּשַׂר-קֹדֶשׁ בִּכְנַף בִּגְדוֹ, וְנָגַע בִּכְנָפוֹ אֶל-הַלֶּחֶם וְאֶל-הַנָּזִיד וְאֶל-הַיַּיִן וְאֶל-שֶׁמֶן וְאֶל-כָּל-מַאֲכָל--הֲיִקְדָּשׁ; וַיַּעֲנוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ, לֹא.  יג וַיֹּאמֶר חַגַּי, אִם-יִגַּע טְמֵא-נֶפֶשׁ בְּכָל-אֵלֶּה הֲיִטְמָא; וַיַּעֲנוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ, יִטְמָא.  יד וַיַּעַן חַגַּי וַיֹּאמֶר, כֵּן הָעָם-הַזֶּה וְכֵן-הַגּוֹי הַזֶּה לְפָנַי נְאֻם- ה' וְכֵן, כָּל-מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם; וַאֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ שָׁם, טָמֵא הוּא.  טו וְעַתָּה שִׂימוּ-נָא לְבַבְכֶם, מִן-הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וָמָעְלָה; מִטֶּרֶם שׂוּם-אֶבֶן אֶל-אֶבֶן, בְּהֵיכַל ה'. טז מִהְיוֹתָם בָּא אֶל-עֲרֵמַת עֶשְׂרִים, וְהָיְתָה עֲשָׂרָה; בָּא אֶל-הַיֶּקֶב, לַחְשֹׂף חֲמִשִּׁים פּוּרָה, וְהָיְתָה, עֶשְׂרִים.  יז הִכֵּיתִי אֶתְכֶם בַּשִּׁדָּפוֹן וּבַיֵּרָקוֹן, וּבַבָּרָד--אֵת, כָּל-מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיכֶם; וְאֵין-אֶתְכֶם אֵלַי, נְאֻם-ה' יח שִׂימוּ-נָא לְבַבְכֶם, מִן-הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וָמָעְלָה; מִיּוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַתְּשִׁיעִי, לְמִן-הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר-יֻסַּד הֵיכַל-יְהוָה--שִׂימוּ לְבַבְכֶם.  יט הַעוֹד הַזֶּרַע, בַּמְּגוּרָה, וְעַד-הַגֶּפֶן וְהַתְּאֵנָה וְהָרִמּוֹן וְעֵץ הַזַּיִת, לֹא נָשָׂא--מִן-הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה, אֲבָרֵךְ.

כ וַיְהִי דְבַר-ה' שֵׁנִית אֶל-חַגַּי, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַחֹדֶשׁ לֵאמֹר.  כא אֱמֹר, אֶל-זְרֻבָּבֶל פַּחַת-יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר:  אֲנִי מַרְעִישׁ, אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ.  כב וְהָפַכְתִּי, כִּסֵּא מַמְלָכוֹת, וְהִשְׁמַדְתִּי, חֹזֶק מַמְלְכוֹת הַגּוֹיִם; וְהָפַכְתִּי מֶרְכָּבָה, וְרֹכְבֶיהָ, וְיָרְדוּ סוּסִים וְרֹכְבֵיהֶם, אִישׁ בְּחֶרֶב אָחִיו.  כג בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם-ה' צבקות אֶקָּחֲךָ זְרֻבָּבֶל בֶּן-שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל עַבְדִּי, נְאֻם ה' וְשַׂמְתִּיךָ, כַּחוֹתָם: כִּי-בְךָ בָחַרְתִּי, נְאֻם ה' צבקות".

On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth [month], in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai. Thus said the LORD
of Hosts: Seek a ruling from the priests, as follows: If a man is carrying sacrificial flesh in a fold of his garment, and with that fold touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any other food, will the latter become holy? In reply, the priests said, “No.” Haggai went on, “If someone defiled by a corpse touches any of these, will it be defiled?” And the priests responded, “Yes.” 

Thereupon Haggai said: That is how this people and this nation looks to Me-declares the LORD—and so, too, the work of their hands. Whatever they offer there is defiled.  And now take heed, from this day backward: Before any stone had been laid on another in the House of the LORD, if one came to a heap of twenty measures, it would yield only ten; and if one came to a wine vat to skim off fifty measures, the press would yield only twenty. I struck you-all the works of your hands-with blight and mildew and hail, but you did not return to Me-declares the LORD. Take note, from this day forward—from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day when the foundation was laid for the LORD’s Temple—take note. While the seed is still in the granary, and the vine, fig tree, pomegranate and olive tree have not yet borne fruit. For from this day on I will send blessings.

And the word of the LORD came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: Speak to Zerubbabel the governor of Judah: I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.  And I will overturn the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the might of the kingdoms of the nations. I will overturn chariots and their drivers. Horses and their riders shall fall, each by the sword of his fellow. On that day—declares the LORD of Hosts—I will take you, O My servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel—declares the LORD—and make you as a signet; for I have chosen you—declares the LORD of Hosts.

May G-d shower blessings upon us in merit of reading these appropriate verses full of blessings that began on this auspicious day when the Second Temple foundation stones were laid!
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