Tisha B'av became a night of weeping because during the time of the meraglim, the Jews cried for no reason.
The second bais hamikdosh was destroyed because of sinas chinam-we hated other people for no reason.
Now, could you please let us out of galus for no reason? Cuz you love us for no reason other than you are our Father and we are Your children?
Yes. Just because you love us.
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We are now in a time where we feel, or at least we should try to feel, an intense yearning to come back home. Thinking about the churban of Hashem's home may seem a little distant for some of you but if you begin to think about the many homes of families in our nation that were destroyed, families that suffered in the recent years, it brings the feelings closer to home.
Almost six years ago, my family experienced a loss. My younger brother, Shalom a"h was niftar. It was hard. It still is hard. He was not sick, there was no warning - it was a real shock to all of us. Our family is never going to be whole again. Of course, we learned to move on. We strengthened our emunah, we spoke about how this is for the best even though we don't understand, we helped and identified with so many others who lost a family memeber. But...the pain is still there. And it keeps coming back. At certain times the pain is stronger. Other times, it's almost not there.
As it gets closer to his yartzheit, the feelings come back - and I'm more emotional about it. As much as I can talk about the story with rock-solid faith that it's all for the best, there's still a huge amount of pain in my heart from the loss. I miss him. I really do.
I want to see him again.
It makes me yearn for moshiach with such a strong intensity.
I remember the first shemona esrei I davened after he was niftar. I wasn't allowed to daven from when we heard the news on Monday afternoon until after his levaya on Tuesday morning. So the first tefillah I got to say was mincha. I went into a bedroom in the house, closed the door and locked myself away from everything that was going on around me. The house was getting set up with low chairs, water coolers, signs with the passuk of hamakom and some food was getting delivered to our house.
I took out my siddur and davened. It was the first time the bracha of mechayei hameisim was so real to me. I cried so hard when I said those words, shaking and trembling, davening with such strong emotions. I wanted to see my younger brother. We were so close. We were closest in age and from all my siblings, I was closest to him.
I know I'm going to see him again...but when?!
We have to realize that moshiach is a real thing. Techiyas hameisim is a real thing. It's not just some words we mumble quickly when we daven. We have to really feel that we want it to happen!
I want to share with you a great thought I read in a recent Hakhel email.
When we express our belief in the coming of moshiach, we say these words: Ani Ma’amin B’Emunah Shleimah BeVi’as HaMoshiach. Then, we continue with the words Ve’af Al Pi Sheyismameiah…even though he may delay, nevertheless I await his coming every day. 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-after all, are we not truthful when we recite these words of 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. As we recite the words Ve’af Al Pi…let us shake off all of the external forces and outside influences and proclaim with complete Emunah that it is our Avinu SheBashomayim Who will bring the geulah-we anticipate today; and if it is not today we will with full faith anticipate again tomorrow!
Practically, what can you do during this time to show Hashem that moshiach is something you are really yearning for?
Every day, when you wash for bread and recite birchas hamazon or when you say al hamichya after eating something mezonos, take a few extra seconds and stop by the words Rachem Na. Think for a minute. Hashem, we need your rachmanus! Have mercy on us! We've been through so much pain and we want to come out of this long and bitter exile! And when you say the words u'venei yerushalayim, stop. Think for a minute. Have an extra bit of kavannah on those words-we all want Yerushalayim to be rebuilt. We all want to see the bais hamikdosh in all its glory with the kohanim doing the avodah, bringing korbanos and the leviyim singing the most beautiful songs in praise of Hashem.
We are all waiting so long for that day to come.
To read more about my brother Shalom a"h and the story behind his unexpected passing from this world, click on the links on the sidebar below the picture of him.