Thursday, July 23, 2015

Happy or Sad? It is all Perspective

This week's Parsha, Devarim is always read the Shabbos before Tisha B'Av. For Haftora we read Chazon Yishayahu, the vision of Isaia, giving this Shabbos the name Shabbos Chazon. This year Shabbos Chazon falls on Tisha B'Av and the fast is pushed to Sunday.

When this occurs we celebrate Shabbos even more joyfully than a regular Shabbos.

Isn't it Tisha B'Av, our saddest day? Why the extra joy?

Both the parsha and Haftora seem to rebuke the Jewish people. Both contain the dreaded word "Eicha" which brings to mind Meggilas Eicha, the book of Lamentations, read on Tisha B'Av. Wherein our prophet Yirmiyahu, Jeremiah laments the destruction of Jerusalem.

Moshe, Yishayahu and Yirmiyahu represent different stages of Jewish nationhood.

Moshe, just before entering The land of Israel, warns the Jewish nation not to forget the great purpose they were chosen for and our connection with Hashem whose Torah is our guide. Yishayahu, during the First Temple Era, chastises the Jewish people for being superficial. Yirmiyahu, after the destruction of the First Temple, laments how low we have fallen.

Each ends with words of hope and promise and in each case we came bouncing back strengthened and greater than before.

Sometimes, in order to build, you first need to demolish. It is a necessary loss to achieve something greater. When you focus on the past, the destruction is devastating. However, when you you focus on the future, that which seemed awful becomes positive.

Knowing that soon Moshiach will come and our Temple rebuilt more beautiful than ever. Seeing how the Jewish people will have achieved unimagined levels of greatness and holiness, due to our prolonged suffering in this exile.

Even more than all that, we will finally achieve our ultimate purpose, making this world a dwelling for Hashem. This is why He created existence and this is why He created us, to accomplish Hashem's goal. What could be greater than that?

So is Tisha B'Av happy or Sad? It was sad but soon it will be happy. This year we get a taste of our future, a taste of Moshiach as the fast gets pushed off. The happy essence of the day is revealed, therefore we celebrate Shabbos with more joy than usual.

Sometimes I wonder, what could we be achieving in this exile? We live under threat, the whole world is against our existence.

Perhaps that is the answer. I have been suffering from ALS for over two years now. Not able to move or talk, I exist. But when visitors come, I fill with joy, and when they leave they too seem full of joy.

Perhaps in these last moments of exile, it is our Jewish presence that makes the difference. So express your Jewishness a little more. Find ways to add to your Mitzvahs and do them with joy, knowing that you are changing the world for good.

May this year's Tisha B'Av fast be pushed off for good.


  1. Amen! And may you finally experience complete health and very fast!

    1. Amen! And may you finally experience complete health and that should happen very fast and remainfor good.