New Hanukkah 2009 Menorahs

Well, Hanukkah is about to knock on our doors, this year it starts on December 11th and ends December 19th. Today we added several new Hanukkah Menorahs.

Here is are the 4  favorite Menorahs chosen by jJudaica.com team:

  1. Tree of Life Menorah
    • Silver Plated
    • Remarkable Shape
    • Now on Sale

    tree of life menorah 3744 l New Hanukkah 2009 Menorahs

  2. Contemporary Menorah
    • Silver Plated
    • Modern, Fresh Clean Look
  3. Antique Look Menorah
    • Solver Plated (Oxidized)
    • Classic Decoration
    • menorah 6820kil New Hanukkah 2009 Menorahs
  4. Tree of  Life (Ceramic) Menorha
    • Colorful
    • Heavy looking

    5973 l New Hanukkah 2009 Menorahs

Also, we found this great video about “How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah” on you tube; Enjoy!


Now on Sale
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Shanah Tova 2009 – שנה טובה

Year of good thingsshana tova 300x300 Shanah Tova 2009   שנה טובה

Year of joy and happiness

Year of smiles and laughter

Year of prosperity and growth

Year of health

Year of success

Year of loooooooooove

Year of peace

A good year: a Shanha Tova

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A Blast Into the Shofar

sfr006ajj m A Blast Into the ShofarThe shofar’s makes it’s main show is on Rosh Hashanah. It is blown  once a day during the month of Elul, and the blast of the shofar is what concludes the Yom Kippur service. Yet, Rosh Hashanah is the only day of the year where extensive services and ceremonies are geared around the blowing of the shofar.

How Many Times is the Shofar Blown on Rosh Hashanah – and Why?

The majority of Ashkenazi Jews blow the shofar 100 times. The majority of Sephardic Jews blow it 101 times. Yemenite Jews blow the shofar 41 times on the holiday. There are several explinations that expain the reasoning behind the perscribed number of shofar blasts.

The 101 Tears of a Mother

In the book of Devorah, the Jew’s were battling the Assyrians for years. The prophetess Devorah foresaw that the Assyrian general would not die in battle, but by the hands of a woman. Just as she predicted, as the Assyrians were losing the battle against the Jews, Sisera fled to the tent of Yael. Yael craftily orcherstrated Sisera’s death. She fed him salty cheese and wine, which put him to a deep sleep.  Once he was in a drunken slumber, she drove a tent stake through the general’s head, klling him dead. Although, this was a great thing for the Jewish people, saving them from a dangerous enemy, it was still a devastating reality for Siseria’s mother. Siseria’s mother felt anger towards the Jewish people more than anything. It is said that she cried 101 tears when she heard of her son’s death. 100 of those tears were directed from her anger towards the Jews, and 1 of those tears was directed from her pure love for her son.

For this reason, Ashkenazi blow 100 blasts from the shofar. The 100 blasts can counteract Siseria’s mother’s 100 tears of anger towards us. But her one pure tear of love, we cannot counteract with even the longest and most powerful shofar blast. So, Ashkenazi stop at 100, honoring the tear of love. It is a reminder for us that we should make teshuva out of love for G-d, not out of anger or fear.

The Halachic Ashkenazi Reason:

According to the Talmud, a Jew must only hear nine shofar blasts in order to fulfill the requirement for Rosh Hashanah. However, there was a debate as to what the authentic shofar blast truly was.  As we know, there are three different ways the shofar is blown. These three sounds (tekiah, shevarim, teruah) vary in length and style and have different spiritual connotations.  The Rabbis could not decide which form or combination of these blasts was the exact sound of the shofar that we are supposed to hear. Therefore, every combination possible of these three types of blasts is sounded. Each combination is bracketed by one long tekiah sound. The total of combination blasts  makes up 100 shofar blasts.

The Sephardi Mystical Reason:

There is a very kabbalistic reasons why the shofar is blown 101 times in Sephardi communities. The Hebrew letters Samech and Mem represent the name for the most harmful angel. The gematriah, numerical value, of these two letters is 60 (Samech) and 40 (Men).  In order to counteract the energy of this dark angel, the shor blower calls upon the energy of the  good angel, Michael. Michael’s name in Hebrew has the gematriah of 101: (mem=40, Yud = 10, Chaf = 20, Aleph = 1, Lamed = 30)


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Selichot: Preparation for the Day of Power

selihot Selichot: Preparation for the Day of PowerThe more energy and effort you put into preparing for important times and events, the more you’ll get out of the experience. Yom Kippur, the Shabbat of Shabbats, is an incredibly powerful day in the Jewish year. On this day, we can wipe ourselves clean of all the every blemish and barrier we’ve caused through our misdeeds, so that our deepest essence and connection with G-d can be renewed. In order to prepare ourselves so that we get the most out of our Yom Kippur experience, we have the process of Selichot.

What and When:

The Selichot service consists of a series of prayers and supplications for forgiveness from G-d. Sephardim recite Slichot throughout the entire month of Elul, through Tishrei, up until Yom Kippur. This year, Sephardi Selichot starts on August 22/23. However, according to Ashkenazi custom, Selichot services only begin the Saturday night (after midnight) before Rosh Hashanah, should the holiday fall Wednesday or later in the week. However, if Rosh Hashanah falls early in the week, Selichot starts two Saturday nights before the holiday, since the service must be recited at least for four days before Rosh Hashanah. This year, Ashkenazi Selichot starts on September 12/13, 2009.

The Selichot service can be recited alone. However, several important parts of the service can only be recited with a minyan. The service is usually recited as a minyan anytime after midnight until morning, before morning prayers are recited. The service is never recited before halachic midnight because the first part of the night is considered to be a strong time of judgment.

A Look into the Service:

Selichot is a deeply moving service, full beautiful traditional songs, haunting verses, and powerful shofar blasts. One of the fundamental parts of the service is the repeated repetition of the the “Thirteen Attributes,” verses from the book of Exodus in the Torah that list the thirteen aspects of mercy and compassion that G-d embodies. The verse is as follow, “[1], Ha-shem [2], G-d [3], merciful [4], and gracious [5], long-suffering [6], abundant in goodness [7] and truth [8], keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation [9], forgiving iniquity [10] and transgression [11] and sin [12], who cleanses [13].”

Even a Little Bit of Preparation Makes a Big Difference:

Should  you only are able to make it to one Selichot service before the High Holidays hit, I guarantee that that experience (provided you are at a good minyan) will be sure to enliven your soul and prepare you for a far more powerful Yom Kippur. Two of the most important nights of Selichot are the first night of Ashkenazi Selichot service, and the night before Yom Kippur.

Tap into the wonderful gift of Selichot!

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Elul – The King is in the Field

Elul Elul   The King is in the FieldElul – The Month G-d Comes Close to Us

Many people associate Elul with fear, considering it a period of repentance that builds up to the High Holy Days where we are all judged by G-d. And indeed, it is a time to take stock of our behaviors and actions of the past year, and to confess what it is we need to change. This is the month where the process of repentance and coming back to our true selves. Yet, there is a deeper aspect to the month – an aspect of love. For Elul is the month where G-d himself makes a big effort to meet us where we are so the we can build a closer relationship with Him.

I am to my beloved, And My Beloved is to Me

In Hebrew, the letters of Elul (Aleph, Lamed, Vav, Lamed) symbolically stand for an important verse from the Song of Songs: “Ani Le-dodi V’dodi Li“  – “I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me.” The entire Song of Songs is a love song between G-d and ourselves. This verse’s association to the month of Elul represents the lovingly close relationship that we can establish with G-d during this powerful time. This is the month where the love story between us can climax, bringing us together in ways never before imagined.

The King is in the Field

The Alter Rebbe explains this concept with a beautiful metaphor. He explains that in Elul, “The King is in the Field”. During the rest of the year, G-d is in the palace, and we must make an intense effort to purify and ready ourselves to approach him in such a regal place. Yet, after a whole year of working hard and inevitably making mistakes, we are given a gift in Elul. This gift is the ability to connect to G-d without having to go to the palace. G-d leaves his palace and comes to find us where we are in the fields.

What is the Meaning of the Field?

When G-d cast us out of the Garden of Eden, he sent us to toil for our bread on Earth. The field symbolizes the places where we work and put effort towards sustaining ourselves in the material world. This includes all means of work: farming, cleaning, cooking, making internet sites, engineering, etc. During the year, we often struggle between the physical and the spiritual. The purpose of this world is to infuse spirituality into the physical. Should we do our physical labor in this world with proper intentions and with thoughts of others, we are actually doing spiritual work. Yet, the majority of the time, we get caught up with the stress and minute details of work. We get lost in the field, and no longer see the bigger spiritual dimension in which the field is an integral part.

The field also represents the outskirts of the city – the places where man can be his uninhibited self. This is often the place where low and thoughtless actions take place. Improper and sometimes lewd actions can occur in such places.

The Power of Love

In Elul, G-d meets us both in our lowest places of sin as well as the places where we labor without any spiritual intent. Therefore, G-d is easily accessible to us all throughout this month. G-d takes this huge step out of his palace because He loves us and wants us to be close. G-d wants, more than anything, for us to build a close relationship with Him.

Teshuva literally means return. When we make teshuva, we return to our true, G-dly natures. Teshuva can be made out of fear, or it can be made out of love. Teshuva made out of fear is a low form of teshuva. It is even considered to be a bribe to G-d. G-d will take the bribe if that is all we offer. But it is the deeper teshuva out of love that G-d really desires from us. By approaching us from his vast sense of love, G-d is showing us that we can uplift ourselves through love.

Elul is a month of transformation, coming close to G-d and thus our true selves, and being filled with supernal love.

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The Lion of Mysticsm – Arizal

Soaking up Spirituality from the Spirit of the Ari

Some people hate crowds, preferring to have their spiritual experiences in private. Yet, I love the spirit of unity that is found amidst the chaos of Israeli spiritual gatherings. I especially love the madness of crowded bus rides and journeys with throngs of other Jews who are all traveling on one specific journey. Of all such gatherings, my favorite is the kabbalah tree 181x300 The Lion of Mysticsm   Arizalyartzeit, or death anniversary for the Ari (the Arizal or Rabbi Issac Luria.) I have faithfully attended it for the past three years in a row, finding that, although I spend half the time crowded for space and pushed about, it is again and again a mystical experience I simply can’t miss. Which is why two weeks ago I traveled to Tzfat (also known as Safed or Zefat), in order to visit the grave of the Ari on his yartzeith. This year, his yartzeit fell on July 25/26, the 5th of Av.

The Lion of Mysticsm

Knicknamed “the Ari,” which literally means “the lion,” the Ari was the one of the leading kabbalists in . He lived in the mid 16th century, during the golden age of kabbalah in Tzfat. Having studied the Zohar for years and meditated intensely on mystical secrets, he gave many lessons on kabbalah. Most of his teachings were complied into a series of books by his foremost student, Rabbi Chaim Vital. His books include secrets of reincarnation, how to achieve a prophetic state, and other sorts of mystical wonders. These teachings branched into a whole school of kabbalah, called “Lurianic Kabbalah.”

The Grave Hoppers

In Israel, it is common to see flocks of religious people flocking to the gravesites of Tzaddikimm, people who are widely recognized to be righteous and holy, on their yartzeits. Jewish mysticism teaches that there is always a minute percentage of a person’s soul that is connected to their grave. On the day of the yartzeit, a larger percentage of the soul can be accessed at their burial site. Thus, on such special days, people feel like they can access some aspect of the energy and spirit of Tzaddiks, and in the merit of the Tzaddiks, have their prayers answered by G-d.  flocks of religious people flock to the gravesite of the tzaddik.

The Reverence and Rituals of the Ari’s Faithfuls

There is a special crowd drawn to the Ari on his yartzeit. It is a group of people, from all different religious sects, many of which practice more “traditional” and less “halachic” Judaism. Most of them are called by a personal connection either to the Ari’s teachings, or to his spirit.

As soon as the Shabat was over on July 25th, people hurried over to the Ari’s grave. Although it was dark and on a regular night, I would’ve been scared to walk through the old graveyard, there were so many feverent people gathered there that I couldn’t think of being scared. All night, people sat by the grave, praying, reciting tehilim, or meditating on the special energy. Around 3 in the morning, many of the men began a special ceremony, chanting specific verses together, many of which are related to the Selichot services that take place during the Hebrew month of Elul. At certain points, the shofar was blasted. As I was not quite sure what this ceremony was about, I felt in awe as I listened, enchanted by the mystery of what was enfolding.

The entire next day, the Ari’s grave continued to be full of visitors until nightfall. There were several prayer minyans for the 3 designated prayers a day. And busses kept driving in and out of the parking lot, bringing more and more loads of faithful pilgrims.

There was a strong feeling of unity amongst the many people gathered for the yartzeit. Free drinks and refreshments were available in mass, so that everyone who was there could make a blessing and enjoy a taste of nourishment in the Ari’s merit. At the bottom of the graveyard (which is situated on a hill), many different groups had set up tables, offering books, jewlery, or other Judaica items. Since the yartzeit took place during the 9 days of Av, no music was being played. Nonetheless, there was a holy spirit of festivity. For, the anniversary of a tzaddik is supposed to be a joyous event, celebrating the tzaddik’s merits and their elevation to heaven.

My Personal Connection to the Ari

For me, the Ari’s grave is one of the places where I feel most spiritually connected. When I first came to Israel a few years ago, I spent a few days going from one holy grave site to the next. Although I prayed at each site, I found it hard to connect. It was only on the last day of my little tour that I went to the grave of the Ari. And there, in the midst of the old graveyard of Tzfat, I felt as though I was being embraced by more warmth and understanding than I’d ever felt before. It was an extremely emotional experience, allowing me to open up to the realization that Jewish spirituality was a path I truly wanted to follow. Since then, I have visited the Ari’s grave many times, always to be comforted and find some sort of guidance.

Thus, I left Tzfat truly inspired this past yartzeit, feeling blessed to  have had the opportunity to connect with so spiritually high of a soul.

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Kabbalah: What do these Kabbalah Prayers Mean?

Ok, lets try to demystify some of the most popular Kabbalah prayers:

Kabbalah Prayer Kabbalah: What do these Kabbalah Prayers Mean?
1. Ana El Na Refa Na La: Please, G-d heal her
This was the simple one line prayer from Bamidbar (Numbers 12:13) which Moses used to ask G-d to heal his sister Miriam. Today it is used as a meditative chant for general Jewish health.

2. Ben Porat Yosef, Ben Porat Alei Ayin: A fruitful son is Yosef, a fruitful son by a spring.
This was blessing from Genesis/Bereshit that Jacob gave to his son Joseph before he passed away.

3. Gam Ki Elech Begei Tzalmavet, Lo Ira Ra Ki Ata Imadi: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you     are with me.
Translation of David’s famous Tehillim (Psalm 23), which was originally written in Hebrew.
Even in tough circumstances we need to understand that all the hardships are for good, to educate and to make us stronger. By wearing this Kabbalah symbol, you may attract Divine protection and increase your faith.
4. Shamreni Mi Kol Tzara Mi Kol Pachad Ve Mi Kol Choli: Guard me from trouble, fear and sickness
This Biblical verse begs G-d for complete protection from all negative circumstances. By wearing this Kabbalistic symbol, you are drawing down the guardful watch of G-d Himself, who will help ward off all forms of pain and evil.

5. SAL – Samech – Alef – Lamed (Seter Ata Li) Techaneni Shefa Bracha Vehatzlacha: G-d Endow Me with Abundance, Blessing and Success

This is a Kabbalistic verse that has the power to attract an abundance of blessings in every aspect of life. It can help usher in wealth into your life, as well as all sorts of other blessings you are longing for. G-d wants to give us everything good we can possibly have. However, many layers, often self-procured, block the goodness from pouring down on us. This necklace helps to shatter the impeding layers between us and G-d, so that the blessings awaiting above may rain down on us!

4. Mayim Rabim Lo Yuchlu L’chabot Et Ha’ahava Uneharot Lo Yishtefuha Imyiten Ish Etkol Hon Beito Baahava Boz Yavuzu Lo: Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it.

This verse comes from the world’s greatest love poem: Shir Hashirim/ Song of Songs. It conjures the deepest power of love: its infiniteness and ability to withstand any obstacle. Sadly, many people do not experience true love. Their love has all sorts of preconditions, and is subject to change and even transformation to hate, or lack of care, based on certain problems. However, we all have the ability to tap into the deepest form of love and feel the blissful beauty of this ideal in our lives. When worn as jewlery, this verse can act as a segula (charm) to help those who are single attract their soul mates, and those who are in relationships to strengthen their bonds of love.

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Kabbalah: What is it?

kabbalah Kabbalah: What is it?

We all want the best life possible

The best life for most of us includes health and wealth, love and protection. Public attention has recently been turned to Kabbalah, attempting to attain these aspects of the good life through its wisdom. Kabbalah is ancient Jewish mysticism that has been a closely guarded secret in the Jewish world for two thousand years. In fact, according to traditional Jewish law, only learned men over 40 who had mastered the whole Torah were allowed to even begin to study the complex mysteries of the Zohar, the foremost Kabbalistic text.  Even then, these students of  Kabbalah were under the strict watch of their Rabbi.

Kabbalah is everywhere

The secret seems to be out; we have seen it pop into the mainstream with the help celebrities such as Madonna and Britney Spears following the trendy L.A-based Kabbalah center. Many people are now sporting red strings around their wrists and wearing jewelery inscribed with mystical Jewish prayers.  The questions is: what is the real purpose of these prayers and what do they mean? The answer to this question is complexed. Yet, these prayers and customs are well-established in Jewish faith and practice. For centuries, Rabbi’s have perscribed such kabbalistic pendents and pieces as cures for a variety of issues.

These prayers are not magical spells

Exactly. Wearing a piece of  Kabbalah jewelery engraved with a prayer and expecting miracles to somehow happen because of it is not how these powerful pieces were intended to work. These signs and prayers, worn as jewelery, are simple reminders to increase in the wearer faith in the real benefactor of our lives and to help focus our energy towards positivity and the belief that good things are on the way!

To be continued next time:

What do these Hebrew prayers mean?

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Ten Great Ideas for Tu B’Av Gifts

Tu B’Av, celebrated as the Jewish Valentine’s Day, is a time for giving gifts to the significant other in your life. What could be a better thing to give your loved one than a lovely Judaica gift that speaks both of your love and the Jewish tradition you both share and love? As the holiday is coming up just next week, on August 4th/5th, I would like to share some of our favorite picks with you.

Gifts for Him or Her:

smaller couple brooch Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv Gifts A Couple Brooch: 24k Gold Plated A Couple Brooch, hand made by Noam Lipshiz, an Israeli artist.

kabbalah love necklace Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv GiftsKabbalah Necklace: Silver Circle for Love: This special Kabbalah wheel necklace is a Segula (virtue) for those looking for their soul mates or for couples looking to strengthen  their relationships. It is embossed in Hebrew with a quote the world’s greatest love poem Shir Hashirim/ Song of Songs.

Yarden Syrah Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv Gifts

Yarden Syrah: The 2003 Yarden Syrah offers up rich blackberry jam and fresh berry notes layered with earth, spice and chocolate. The wine is full-bodied with a lightly chewy texture. A background of oak fills out the wine’s organoleptic picture.

Gifts for Him:

Silver teffilin case Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv Gifts

Sterling Silver Tefillin Case: Exquisite sterling silver Tefillin case engraved beautifully with a depiction of Jerusalem. Engraved around the perimeter with: Uk’shartam le’ot al yadecha – And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand. Designd in Israel

Gray tallis Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv GiftsLight Blue Embroidered Blessing Tallit: Elegant blue-on-pale-blue raw silk Tallit embroidered beautifully with the Tallit blessing.  The Tallit is accompanied by a matching Kippah and Tallit bag. Made in Israel.

White LAce look on Ivory background Knitted Kippah Yarmulke Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv GiftsWhite Lace Look with Ivory Background Knitted Kippah (Yarmukle): High quality, Knitted Kippah (Yarmulke) with beautiful White Lace look on Ivory background.

Gifts for Her:

Israel Candle Holders Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv GiftsIsrael Candle Holders: Large Shibolim Candle Holders by Shulamit Kanter. “A land of wheat, barely and vines, of fig trees and the Pomegranate ; a land of olive trees and honey”. Includes two removable nickel plated brass candle cups.

Silver Plated Pomegranate Candle Holders Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv Gifts

Silver-Plated Pomegranatte Candle Holders: Crafted in Israel, these beautiful silver-plated pomegranates are elegant holders for ritualistic Shabbat or Yom Tov candles.

Classic Candle Lighter Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv Gifts

Classic Candle Lighter: Electro Forming Silver Classic Candle Lighter for Shabbat, Havdlah and Yom Tov candle lighting. Designed in Israel.

Sterling Silver Hamsa Red Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv GiftsSterling Silver Hamsa Necklace: Red is for Love. This beautiful Adaya hamsa charm, is hand crafted in Israel, with red glass and crystal beads.
Comes with a sterling silver 16.2” chain, with no additional charge! All from Adaya jewelry.

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  • services sprite Ten Great Ideas for Tu BAv Gifts

The Kabbalistic Day of Love

heart of hands1 150x150 The Kabbalistic Day of LoveKnown as the Jewish Valentine’s Day, Tu B’Av (the 15th day of the Hebrew month, Av) is celebrated throughout Israel. This year, the holiday falls on Tuesday night, August 4th and Wednesday, August 5, 2009. Flowers are bought for the ladies, gifts are exchanged (many of them with a Judaica theme), couples go out for romantic dates, Jewish Valentine’s cards are exchanged, and the cities are full of concerts and parties to gather people together – all in the spirit of love. Yet, this cute Israeli love day has roots, both historic and kabbalistic, that go far further back than most people know. Which is why the holiday is celebrated by both religious, orthodox Jewish people as well as totally secular Israelis.

The Mishnah, the Jewish book of laws on the Torah, declares that along with Yom Kippur, the day where all Jews are entirely cleansed of their sins, the best (happiest) day of the year for “the people of Israel” is Tu B’Av. It goes on to explain how on Tu B’Av, the daughters of Israel/Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards.” ( Taanit, Chapter 4).The men would watch the women dance and decide which one they wanted to be their wife. The Hebrew women would dress in borrowed white clothes, so that the men would not be able to tell what the women’s financial statuses were based on what they were wearing. Thus, couples would come together based on love and connectivity, rather than mere financial ambition.

Tu B’Av falls on a full moon, which is part of its kabbalistic secret. The Jewish people are closely related to the moon, and are said to have the moon’s feminine energy in respect to G-d. The Jewish calander also revolves around the moon. Many important holidays and highly spiritual days, such as Passover and Sukkot, start on the full moon. Yet, the full moon of Av has a power distinct unto itself. It falls exactly 6 days after the fast day of Tisha B’Av, which is part of an entire 3 week-period of mourning and negativity. As we all know, the brightest sunrise always comes after the darkest night. Thus, after an intense period of negativity, the cosmos brings us one of the most spiritually positive days of the year: Tu B’Av!

On the full moon of Tu B’Av, there is so much positivity that male and female energies and spirituality come into balance. This balance creates the perfect environment for love, both new and old. Use the energy entailed in the day to strengthen your existing relationship, taking it to new levels. Or, let the power of its full moon help guide you towards a fresh relationship. Open yourself to love, either through prayer or through proper channeling of its energy. Anything is possible during this kabbalsitic day of love.hands heart2 The Kabbalistic Day of Love

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  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love
  • services sprite The Kabbalistic Day of Love

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