Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tisha B'Av - The Ninth of Av

Yes, I'm back in the States. I walked off the plane last night about a half of an hour before Tisha B'Av was starting. I passed through customs washed my hands and sat along the side of a wall in baggage claim eating a pita and egg with ashes realizing that I was no longer in Israel.

I guess that it is fitting to do Tisha B'Av outside of Israel. Not that Israel is any better off than we are here being that people are partying on Ben Yehuda just down the street from the ruins of the Temple. (Although on a positive note, I had a short conversation about that we souldn't need to fast on Tisha B'Av with a lady who worked in a pharmacy in Geula - where else?) But here in America I can say that I'm not even able to be at the ruins at all.

Why are we still mourning the Temple? Who cares? I didn't really understand these questions until about a week ago when it was clearly defined by Rav Berkowitz. All trouble stems from not having the Temple. This includes all difficulties. People who were at a crossroads in their lives, who needed direction would simply go to a prophet who would tell them what their purpose in life should be. Easy as that. This is the concept of clarity. Closeness to G-d meant clarity. We need to understand how horrible it really is to be unclear - not to know what we are meant to accomplish in this life of ours. We go through each day - going to our jobs, hopefully doing good things but without a clue what the end goal of our life really is.

People are in pain. People need health and money. All of this would be solved with Moshiach.

Mourning is realizing what we are missing. It is hard to mourn when we don't know what we are missing. We may not be able to miss the Temple, but I am sure that we can see the pain of others. I am sure we can see the pain in our own lives. We need to take the opportunity of Tisha B'Av to realize that this pain, in whatever form it takes, can be fixed by the imminent arrival of Moshiach and the Redemption. It is when we identify this pain as the result of the destruction that we can truly mourn for what is lost.

May Moshiach arrive quickly and this day of mourning can be turned into a day of rejoycing with HaShem.

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