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Section: Moadim   Category: The 3 Weeks
How Can We Possibly Mourn?
Many Holocaust survivors did not write their story for many years because no ink and no words can describe the agony and anguish of what they went through.  Committing it to words cheapens the experience and the emotions.  Only with the dulling of the senses over years did it become possible to put pen to paper.   Even then it did not do their story justice, but the obligation to not let their suffering die with them, but to pass it along to the next generation, compelled them to take up the task.  Better only a small fragment of the pain will be remembered than have it be totally forgotten.

Even with the hundreds of books that we have read, we still do not have an inkling of an idea of the sheer terror, humiliation, pain, and suffering that the writer faced in the story that he tells.  No matter how hard we try we cannot put ourselves in the ghetto or in the concentration camp and make the terror real or palpable.  Although only one or two generations removed, and despite living with actual survivors in a world that has not changed all that much, we still cannot go back and fathom life in the valley of death.   If you weren't there you can't understand.  

Even more so we cannot understand the life that was, in the holy shtetl, where Yiras Shamayim was palpable and something you could feel in the air.  Tisha B'Av was Tisha B'Av and Elul was Elul.  Similarly the joy of Succos and Pesach were deeper and more heartfelt than what passes for celebration today.

On Tisha B'Av as we mourn for the Bais HaMikdash we are accused of doing a very lousy job.  Where are our tears?  Where is our sorrow?  Do we miss the Bais HaMikdash?  Ribbono Shel Olam!  If we weren't there we can't understand!  Even with parents and grandparents who were eye witnesses we cannot begin to fathom a lost world that existed merely decades ago, how can we shed real hot tears over the glory of the Shechina and its churban that took place two thousand years ago?  We are so numb from pain and have been paralyzed for so long that when told we can have anything we want, we ask the renowned Doctor to scratch our back rather than restore our senses.

On this Tisha B'Av we ask Hashem, "Hashiveinu Hashem Eilecha V'Nashuva", give us a taste, give us a glimpse of your Shechina.  "Chadesh Yameinu K'Kedem", we beg You o take us back in time, a time of innocence and purity.  A time when we were more in touch with our insides than with our outside.  Hashem, You have placed us in a world gone mad with materialism, a world where nothing else matters.  You need make the first move.  Show us the beauty of what we lost so that we can return.  

Until then can sit on the floor and sadly say Kinos, crying about the itch on our back, but the copious tears over our real loss will not flow from the depth our soul.  We don't comprehend a world with a Bais HaMikdash, where Your Shechina dwells.  Our distance from our Neshama is as far as our distance from the last time Your mighty house stood, and that is a very long time ago, too long.  SheYibaneh Bais HaMikdash Bimheira BiYameinu.
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