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FRUMToronto Articles Thoughts for the Week

Inspirational words of Torah from Gedolei Yisroel.


Blog Image: Hakhel.jpg
Cry and Cry out
The Navi (Yeshaya 1:3, which we read as part of last week’s Haftora) teaches “Ami Lo Hisbonan--My nation did not consider.”

Rashi adds that the people knew they were acting improperly but “tread with their heels” on this knowledge, and simply “did not take it to heart.”

We all know too well the desperate straits we are in at this time, in which we deal with the Churban of Eretz Yisroel and Yerushalayim--the defiling of a land and of a people on the one hand; and the turmoil, death and destruction in Eretz Yisroel today--upon which the nations of the world have heaped additional disgrace and scorn, on the other.

Haven’t we yet reached a point where we will, as the Navi asks, at least “consider”? It is not, it cannot, and should not, be beyond us to go off into a room--our bedroom, dining room, study, or even the floor somewhere, to sit down and cry: “Oh, what has befallen us! A nation in ruins, the holiest people on Earth berated by the lowest nations on Earth.  We are attacked by governments and the media world over.

What makes us better today than the captives of Judea taken by the Romans more than 1,930 years ago? Is it that we have some stained hardwood floors, custom wall coverings, a relatively new car or kosher tacos? We cannot allow ourselves to be fooled by the amenities, luxuries, or even just the relative comfort in which we live. We have been in exile far too long, and the longer we are here, the worse off we are. Exile does not get better with age like a fine wine; it becomes rancid like a container of open milk on a hot summer day.

L’Maaseh, living with reality and practically speaking, we are walking about badly wounded in this bitter exile. We cannot be ashamed to cry. Ashamed?!--Why, and from whom?! Why can we not pour out our hearts to Hashem, as Yirmiyahu HaNavi cries out (Eicha 2:19) “Shifchi Kamayim Libeich--pour out your heart [to Hashem] like water.”

At least today, on the eve of Tisha B’Av, and no less certainly tomorrow itself, on the day of pain and mourning over the Chilul Hashem that exists in the world today, over Hashem’s pain which is infinitely greater than ours, over a world that has been lowered to the bottom of the bottom-most depths, over all the individual and communal pain and anguish, over these and much more, we must cry real, very real, tears.

Yirmiyahu HaNavi further teaches (31:14), “A voice is heard on high, lamentation, bitter weeping, Rochel weeping for her children, she refuses to be comforted for her children, for they are not.” On this Pasuk, the Mahari Kara (in the Mikraos Gedolos) writes that Rochel Imeinu represents K’lal Yisroel, and that our weeping in exile is heard by Hashem’s ears.

Can we not shed a tear specifically over:
•    The pain of the Shechina over the Chilul Hashem of the Galus (the Father’s pain is greater than the child’s)
•    The void left by the Beis Hamikdosh that is not with us and the concomitant void of sanctity within us (we could be closer to angels, and not closer to animals)
•    The honor of Klal Yisroel that has been cast to the ground and trampled upon
•    The hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews who have been numbed by Communism
•    The sorry hatred of secular Jews to Judaism
•    The Aiden Shapiros and Jules Horowitzes of the world who are not Jewish
•    Terrorism
•    The Crusades
•    The Pogroms
•    The 1648-1649 Massacres
•    Churban Europe
•    All of the unnecessary sickness and suffering for 2,000 years (multiplied by each second of pain)
•    The desolation and ruination of the Har Habayis, Har Hazeisim, Chevron, Teveria…
•    Sinas Chinum—smiling at the mishap of another, failing to properly rejoice at another’s simcha, and finding it hard to accept another’s honor and success
•    The Jews who do not even know that Tisha B’Av exists
•    The Jews who know that Tisha B’Av exists and do not grow in their resolve to do something to end this Churban as soon as possible

If, for some reason you cannot cry--at least cry out--as our forefathers did in Mitzrayim. Remember, the gates of tears--and the gates of ruchniyus--are never closed. If we have to sit on the floor in a few hours, it should do more than cause us some temporary physical pain. Plead to Hashem as Dovid HaMelech does: “El Dimosi Al Techerash--Do not be silent to my tears!” (Tehillim 39:13) Hashem, I will not find comfort with the few pleasures I have when the Heavens and the Earth writhe in pain!

Please join with your brothers this Tisha B’Av, as our sincere tears and cries reach the Heavens.

May these tears and cries turn into overflowing sounds of salvation for each and every one of us, as we join together to witness the comforting of our people and the ultimate final and glee-filled redemption--speedily and in our days.

May our prayers for consolation be accepted by Hakodesh Boruch Hu speedily and in our days--today!


Special Note Two: Chazal teach that the Moshiach will come when we are “Nisya’ashu Min HaGeulah--when we despair of redemption.”  The Baalei Mussar all ask: Are we not supposed to wait for Moshiach every day--Achakeh Lo Bechol Yom Sheyavo.  How can it be that we will despair?!  The answer given by many is that Chazal do not mean that we will despair of Moshiach’s arrival.  Rather, they mean that we will despair that our Yeshua will come from foreign governments, wise scientists, or even from our own wisdom or strength.  Rather, we will once and for all realize, and put into real practice, that we have no one to rely on, no source of yeshua whatsoever--except for Our Avinu SheBashamayim.  It may be a very worthwhile endeavor for you to repeat this several times a day--every day of the year!


Special Note Three:  HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, was asked whether we will continue to fast if the Moshiach came on Tisha B’Av.  He answered that it will depend if the Moshiach came before Chatzos or after Chatzos (1:02 New York time).  If the Moshiach comes after Chatzos, we will complete the day in fasting, for Tisha B’Av is not only a day of mourning, but a day of Teshuva, as well.  Let us not forget to do Teshuva on Tisha B’Av--wouldn’t it be so remarkable and special if the Moshiach actually came while you were doing Teshuva?!

--------------------------
Hakhel MIS



Posted 7/31/2009 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Thoughts for the Week | Comments (0)

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