Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Own Geulah: Some Thoughts on Tisha B'Av

When was the last time you cried? Do you remember how you felt, where you were,how you wished you could step outside yourself and live someone else's life for a day? Do you remember why you cried? Try to remember. Maybe you don't even have to remember. Maybe you're going through something right now that's eating at you, consuming you, you can't forget and you can't move on because it is so solidly there, taking up space, the "elephant in the room." Everyone goes through this. Everyone has felt this. You're not human if you haven't. But why? I remember asking myself this question when I was going through something particularly painful. Why do I have to experience this pain? Why does this have to be a part of life?

Pain is a funny thing. It can stop your heart and cause you to forget everything, and then just as easily disappear into nothingness when the issue is resolved and things are back to the way you want them to be. There's darkness, absolute and impenetrable, and you can't see out; and then just as suddenly as it came, it disappears when one small, tiny speck of light becomes as bright as the sun, leading you out of the cold and into the warm comfort of another chance, a new beginning. This is your life. This is mine. This is the history of our people.

It's a fast day. You can't eat, you can't wear your regular shoes. You can't act as if it's every other day minus the food. You cannot pretend this day is not significant. This is your reminder of who you are and where you came from. We are all experiencing pain. Maybe you don't notice it all the time, but it's there. Maybe you can sense it, when all is quiet and it's you, only you, alone with your thoughts. There's something missing;something vital. No matter who you are, each person goes through their own personal exile; and each person,with the help of their Creator, experiences their redemption. We, individually and as a nation, are experiencing exile. We've lost our true connection; we've lost the most vital link to reality. We stumble through darkness and try to choose between right and wrong, never really knowing,truly knowing,what is real and what is all just illusion. How much longer are we going to allow ourselves to tread water, struggling to keep afloat when the next wave might bring us under? How much longer can we attempt to escape the doubt and confusion that threatens to swallow us whole?

Listen to your soul crying to be truly recognized, see the tears, those you can see with your eyes and those you can't, feel the pain of millions of people, of thousands of years. Realize. It could be over so soon. Like a passing dream, it will recede into something you can barely recall, something you will never have to experience again. It doesn't have to be like this. Make it end. Bring the geulah to your own personal galus, and to that of the nation you belong to. Forget what divides you;extend the hand that is rigid and cold, unwilling to forgive. We can do it together. We will do it. What we need, all that we're waiting for, is you.


  1. I just want to thank my sister-in-law, Shira, for writing this beautiful and powerful post! Wow! You really have a way with words!! Thank you for the inspiration!!!

  2. This is written so descriptively, and is very powerful!

  3. thankyou shira so so sos so ssoooooooooo much for posting it-it can reallyshow one like how to feel-and get some feel of the loss that we have !!!!!!!!!


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