As I'm writing this article on Wednesday, we are getting ready for a fast day which is called Tisha B'av. The fast day is a time of mourning for the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem and …
As I'm writing this article on Wednesday, we are getting ready for a fast day which is called Tisha B'av. The fast day is a time of mourning for the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem and mourning for the Jewish People's suffering throughout the long exile.
By the time the article will appear in print we'll be getting ready for the consolation Shabbos (Saturday). On this Shabbos we read prophecies of consolation from the Prophet Isaiah.
In their essence, mourning and consolation are two sides of the same coin. Both have in them a soul of hope and a thread of connection to the thing that is being mourned. Both keep the thing we mourn for alive.
It is said of Napoleon that he once saw Jews mourning on Tisha B'av. He asked them what's the mourning and crying all about. He was told that it's for the destruction of the Temple, he then asked how long ago was it destroyed. Upon hearing the response that it was over 1800 years ago, he said, people who can cry on such an old past certainly will one day have their Temple rebuilt. This is the point of consolation. Through the mourning over the Temple, we are consoled that it will one day be rebuilt. May it be so soon!
It's not really just the Temple of bricks and wood, that we mourn for. It's really a yearning for the perfection of the world, for a time when all people will know the Creator of the world and live life to its fullest potential.
The Temple epitomizes world perfection. The Temple was a dwelling for G-d, so to speak, and its destruction means that there is currently no place in the world that is perfect enough to be a dwelling place for the Divine, so to speak.
The crying for the temple includes also a cry for injustice, for broken families, for suffering, and all misfortunes that there is in the world.
The Talmud says that even the taste of fruits became lessened after the destruction of the Temple. The world perfect that we are hoping for is one that is perfectly perfect, that even the fruits would be perfect.
When the Divinely presence will be manifested in the world, it ought to be perfect in every kind of perfection.
Although when we look around in the world today we are very far from perfection, so how does it make even sense to mourn and yearn for perfection? Another question can be asked is, how can we celebrate consolation when we are yet to see the Temple rebuilt and the perfection of the world is yet to come?
The answer is that we know that all the suffering and shortcomings that we have now are what eventually will bring forth redemption. The imperfections are birth pains for the perfection that will come. That's why we can find consolation by the knowledge that the misfortunes are what progresses us to world perfection.
The first place to start rebuilding the Temple is in our hearts, to carve out a Temple for G-d in our hearts. That is by cultivating the character traits and emotions that are a manifestation of the Divine Will. This includes all types of feelings. When they are used productively and positively, they become a dwelling place, so to speak, for G-d.
We hope and wish that healing should come forth from our hearts and fill the world with healing and redemption. May it be so in our days soon!!
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