Friday, August 01, 2014

Tisha B'Av - From Condolences to Cheers

Nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem. Banished from their beloved Land of Israel, Jews were scattered across the globe.

Was this punishment? Yes, superficially, but no, when you look at the destruction of the Temple as a phase in the rebuilding of the 3rd temple. Without the Second Temple's demolition, the Third Temple would be unattainable.

Holiness, should it suffer a decline, suffers the decline for the purpose of achieving thereafter an even higher than original state of holiness. As a prerequisite for this higher level of holiness, the descent is a necessary component, as sure as a seed must first decompose in the earth before it "recovers" and creates a tree.

The first two Temples were built by human hands. The third Holy Temple will be built by God, leaving about 1% of the job for man to finish.

To merit this ultimate, eternal Temple, Jews had to undergo exile for nearly two millennia, which forced upon them a refinement that only an exile, a long one at that, could accomplish. Exile to the Jew has been the smelting process from which he can be extracted in his refined state.

Tisha B'Av for Jews is a day of mourning for on this calendar day both Temples were destroyed (and other Jewish tragedies). But chassidus of the last several generations has given impetus to think positively of the whole mess, to reveal that despite the travails, an ulterior purpose, a good one, is being served.

And therefore Tisha B'Av is also the day the supernal light impregnating this darkness took conception. For on the day of the 2nd Temple's destruction, a higher cause was also put into motion; On that day, Midrash Eichah tells us, Moshiach was born.

(A question arises for those who believe the Rebbe of Lubavitch is Moshiach, for the Rebbe's birth date is different from Tisha B'Av; Here's a resolution of that riddle: link)

This brightest of stars, we began seeing glimmers of its shine breaking through the fog of a turbulent world, at least for those whose eyes are keenly focused to the teachings of our sages and Rebbeim.

This bright floodlight will soon bathe the earth, will raise the earth orders of magnitude in spirituality, will reward people with this new insight, will sweep away evil and will bring the utopia meant for in the first place - may it happen very soon, in our own days.

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