Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: MOADIM Category:THE 3 WEEKS Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Wed, 01 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Those Who Joke On Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av is a day of mourning and the most somber day of the year. We sit on the floor and mourn the Bais HaMikdash. Yet we find people who not only don't seem to be too terribly deep in mourning yet even treat the day lightly and even joke around. How can we relate to these people?

Our attitude can be guided by a Mashal from Rav Binyomin Finkel. When a father dies young and you make a Shiva visit you may find distraught parents, a tearful widow, sad siblings, and shell shocked children. Yet while all this is going on inside the somber apartment, outside you may find a young child playing and laughing and having a good time, genuinely enjoying the days off with the whole family around and lots of attention.

Do you say to yourself, "well if he thinks his father's untimely passing is a big joke don't expect me to feel bad for him"? Of course not. This child has lost more than anyone inside crying. And what makes your eyes well up with tears is his childish naivety that doesn't even allow him to understand what he has lost. This child has lost his guiding light, the one who will raise him to be a man. He has lost the one who will provide for all his needs. He has lost his emotional pillar and now belongs to a fragile orphaned home instead of a steady and secure one.

We tend to relate to the Bais HaMikdash as a spiritual treasure and therefore those spiritually inclined take the day far more seriously than others. But the Bais HaMikdash was far more than a place to reach spiritual heights. With the presence of the Shechina down here on earth in the center of Yerushalayim, the world was a different world. The people were strong and beautiful, the produce was something we can't even imagine, even the worst weather was more glorious than any day we can dream of.

The Bais HaMikdash was the place where Heaven met earth. Just like we cannot fathom what Olam Haba is like, we cannot even imagine what life was like in the shadow of Hashem's palace. All the bracha in the world flowed through our Bais HaMikdash, and from there to the rest of the world. This gave Am Yisroel extreme superiority in ever facet of Ruchniyos and Gashmiyos.

The most hardened materialistic heart can relate to this as well. And if he laughs about the loss, and cares more about the measly pleasures he has earned, or focuses his mind planning his upcoming thrills, he is truly a sad case and deserves the pity reserved for a naive orphan.

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 03:00:00 +0000
Napoleon Bonaparte's Tisha B'Av Lesson

One Tisha B'Av as Napoleon was walking through the streets of Paris he heard bitter wailing coming form inside a building. When he walked in he saw a group of Jews sitting on the floor saying kinos and crying. He asked them, "Why are you crying." They answered that, "Jerusalem was overrun and the Temple destroyed." Napoleon thought for a minute and then told the Jews, "Do not to worry it is just an untrue rumor. I know for a fact that all is quiet in the Middle East."

The group then explained to him that they are mourning an event that took place 1600 years earlier. As astounded Napolean replied, "If you are still crying 16 centuries later I have no doubt that one day your temple will be rebuilt."

Napoleon's comments give logical spin to the Gemara's statement "Kol Hamishabel Al Yerushalayim Zocheh V'Roeh B'Nechamasa". He who mourns Yerushalayim will merit seeing it rebuilt. If the determination and connection are still there after the long bitter galus we will certainly merit building the Bais HaMikdash once again. However warns the gemara, if the 2000 year long river of tears runs dry, we will be cut off and can never navigate our way back home.

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 03:00:00 +0000
The Rema Tells Of A Meeting Between The Greek Philosopher Plato & Yirmiyahu HaNavi

It is brought in the sefer Galus V'Nechama of Rav Shimshon Pincus that the Rema writes in the Sefer Toras HaOlah that after the Churban, Plato the Greek philosopher, met Yirmiyahu and Yirmiyahu was crying. Plato asked Yirmiyahu two questions. First, why was the great wise man of the Jews crying over a building made of bricks and stones? Secondly, why was he crying over the past? What happened cannot be changed.

Yirmiyahu told Plato the wisest man among the nations to ask him any questions he had in philosophy that he did not have any answer to. Plato asked many hard questions and Yirmiyahu answered all of them to Plato's great satisfaction. The Rema writes that at this point Plato did not know if he speaking with a human being or a Malach. Yirmiyahu then explained to Plato that all his wisdom came from the "bricks and stones" called the Bais HaMikdash and therefore he cries. Regarding his second question of why he cries over something that already happened, Yirmiyahu said that this question he won't answer, because even if he did Plato would not understand.

That the divine Hashem and almighty creator of the universe can have a meaningful and initimate relationship with a mere mortal is not something that even Plato can understand. That He yearns for our tears is something not even worthwhile to try and explain, even to the wisest of all men.

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Why Do We Fast On Tisha B'Av If It Burned Mostly On The 10th?

On the afternoon of the Tisha B'Av the Romans lit the Bais HaMikdash on fire. It burned that afternoon and the next day the tenth of Av. After the Churban there was a debate if the fast day should be held on the ninth or the tenth of Av. It was decided that the ninth would be the day of Tisha B'Av.

This can be explained with the Medrash Yalkut Shimoni that says that when Hashem wanted to destroy the Bais HaMikdash he needed to remove His Shechina. If the Shechina was present in the Bais HaMikdash no human would be able to destroy it.

The significance of the Bais HaMikdash to us is not the unique architecture, the stones, or the utensils. The Bais HaMikdash is a place where we connect with Hashem. It is the single place on earth where the divine and the mundane meet in the physical world. The whole tragedy of the Churban is that that place no longer exists and that Hashem has gone away from us, taking both spiritual and material bracha with him.

Hashem removed His presence from the Bais HaMikdash before it was destroyed and only after that was the enemy able to ignite it. This is precisely the reason we fast on the 9th and not the 10th because the fast is for the loss of the Shechina which happened on the 9th. The 10th was anti-climactic with the burning of an empty shell that was no longer Hashem's home. 

Moreover it was the first step of the Geula.  It was "Soser Al Minas Livnos"; Just like when you purchase an old delapidated house the first step to rebuilding it is to tear down the old structure.  On the 10th of Av, although excruciatingly painful to see our memories go down in flames, it was a first step towards the rebuilding of the third Bais HaMikdash Bimheira Biyameinu Amen.

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Chasam Sofer - 17 Tammuz? The Confusion Behind The Exact Date

The Gemara (Taanis 28b) asks why do we fast on 17 Tammuz if in Sefer Yirmiya it says that the walls of Yerushalayim were breached on the 9th of Tammuz and not on the 17th. The Gemara answers that the walls were breached on the 9th during Churban Bayis Rishon and on the 17th by Churban Bayis Sheni. Since we are in Galus from Churban Bayis Sheni, we fast on the 17th.

The Yerushalmi however says that according to one opinion even during Bayis Rishon the walls were breached on the 17th, but due to all the turmoil during that difficult period they erred in calculating the exact date. In either event says the Yerushalmi, everybody agrees that there were 21 days between the breaching of the walls and the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash. Accordingly says the Yerushalmi, one opinion would place the date of the Churban on Rosh Chodesh Av in accordance with a pasuk in Yechezkel.

The Chasam Sofer asks how can Yirmiya HaNavi possibly have erred when writing Tanach? Moreover, how could Yechezkel who was sitting peacefully in Bavel at the time, err in the marking the day of the Churban as 1 Av. There was no turmoil in Bavel to blame it on?  He answers that the day after the Churban (10 Av) was referred to as "1 Menachem Av", since the Churban was a kapara for their aveiros, it was considered a new beginning. That is why Yechezkel's nevuah refers to the date 1 Av. However the people of Bavel didn't understand the concept that the Churban can start a new beginning. Therefore they took Yechezkel at his word. Since they knew that the walls were breached exactly 21 days before they placed that date at 9th of Tammuz.

When a refugee from Yerushalayim arrived in Bavel on the 5th of Teves and reported the dates as 17th of Tammuz and 9th of Av the people didn't believe him and trusted their understanding of Yechezkel's nevuah. Therefore they took the liberty of amending Sefer Yirmiyahu, sure that their dates were the accurate ones.

Tue, 19 Jul 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Revach Tisha B'av Articles

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Tue, 20 Jul 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Ben Kalba Savua - What Kind Of Name Is That For One Of The Richest Men In Yerushalayim?
The gemara says (Gittin 56a) that after the Romans laid siege on Yerushalayim, the three richest men had storehouses of supplies to sustain the city for 21 years.  One of these men was nicknamed Kalba Savua, the satisfied dog, because whoever came into his house ravenous like a dog, left satisfied after being properly served and nourished.

The Tiferes Shlomo Of Radomsk asks that this name is appropriate for the guests who come into Kalba Savua’s house and not Kalba Savua who surely was never hungry?  He answers that Kalba Savua’s Chesed was on a very high level.  He didn’t just feed the hungry, he made sure to feel their pain and put himself into their shoes.  He understood what it meant to be hungry and not have eaten a decent meal in a long time.  He served them with zealousness and catered to their every whim in order to relieve them of their suffering which made a deep impression on him.  
Because of this, he earned the honorary title of Kalba Savua, as a tribute to the mega millionaire  who managed to personally feel the poor man’s hunger pangs.

Tue, 20 Jul 2010 03:00:00 +0000
The gemara in Megila (11a) says that the name Achashveirosh is derived from the words Achiv Shel Rosh, the brother of the head.  The head refers to Nevuchadnetzar to whom Achashveirosh had many similarities.  One of them says the gemara is that Nevuchadnetzar destroyed the bais HaMikdash and Achashveirosh wanted to destroy it.  The gemara explains that he stopped the building of the second Bais HaMikdash which already commenced under Zerubavel.

Why does it say that he wanted to destroy but did not?  Rashi says that Zerubavel had already laid the foundation which Achashveirosh did not touch, although he wanted to.  What stopped him?  

Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz explains that when Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai came before Vespasian he called him “King”.  Vespasian was very angry and wanted to kill him for saying something not true.  Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai said that he will become King because the pasuk says “V’HaLevanon B’Adir Yipol”, only a King can destroy the Bais HaMikdash.  

Regarding Achashveirosh the gemara (11a) says that he was not worthy to be King but he took control of the country and crowned himself king.  Therefore Achashveirosh could not lay a finger on the Bais HaMikdash and instead just dreamed about it.

Tue, 20 Jul 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Bar Kamtza Nicks Us In the Mouth And Eye
When the King sent a Korban with Bar Kamtza as a test to prove their loyalty, Bar Kamtza secretly made a blemish in it so that they would not offer it on the Mizbei’ach, and his plan of destroying the Jews would come to fruition.  The gemara says that this Moom was either on the lip or in the eye, in a place that Bnei Yisroel consider a moom while the Nochrim do not.  Why is that?

The Be’er Mayim Chaim says in Parshas Korach that these blemishes symbolize aveiros of not guarding our mouths and not guarding our eyes, which a Jew must be very careful.  This is why the gemara says that to a Jew a mouth or eye that has been compromised with things that are forbidden is considered blemished and not fit to serve the King with.   However to a Nochri these things are trivial and they do not even consider it an aveira relative to the more stringent things that they struggle with.  Therefore a blemished eye or mouth is more than worthy in their eyes to offer to Hashem.

Tue, 20 Jul 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Bnei Yisaschar: The Months of Tammuz and Av

 There are 12 different Tzirufim (combinations) to write the Shem Hashem (Yud, Hey, Vuv, and Hey).  Each month has its own tziruf which captures the essence of that month.  The Bnei Yissachar says that the reason for the tziruf for Tammuz which is Shem Hashem with the letters in reverse order (Hey, Vuv, Hey, and Yud) is because the entire month is controlled by the midah of din and the name of Hashem in its proper sequence (the name of rachamin) is completely hidden from us.

Even from Rosh Chodesh Tammuz until 17 Tammuz were bad days as the meraglim were traveling on their disastrous mission to Eretz Yisroel.  The pasuk where this tziruf can be found is in Megilas Ester where Haman complains about Mordechai and says about his wealth "V'Chol Zeh Einenu Shoiveh Li".  The last letters spell this Shem Hashem.

The tziruf for Av is (Hey, Vuv, Yud, and Hey) where the first two letter are the last two letters backwards (Hey-Vuv) since the first half of the month is a terrible time but the last to letters (Yud-Hey) are in the correct order since after 15 of Av the month takes a turn for the better and the lights of tshuva start to shine leading up to the days Elul and Tishrei.

Sun, 04 Jul 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Chida - The Joyous Tammuz & Av That Could Have Been
The Yisroel V'Hazmanim brings the Medrash (Yalkut Shimoni Bamidbar 29) that says that Hashem wanted to give a Moed to each of the summer months.  Nisan He gave Pesach, Iyar Pesach Sheini, and Sivan was Matan Torah.  Then came Tammuz and the Chait HaEigel, and all Yamim Tovim for Tammuz, Av, and Elul were cancelled.  In Tishrei, Hashem paid them back with Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Succos.

The Chida says that had we not done the Eigel, Rosh HaShanah would have been in Tammuz and Yom Kippur in Av.  In fact, says the Chida, that is when the Avos HaKedoshim celebrated these Moadim.  However after the Eigel instead of celebrating receiving the Luchos in Tammuz, and turning the three weeks of Ymei Din into Yimei Ratzon, today we mourn for twenty one days.  This is made up to us in Tishrei when we have twenty one days of Ratzon in the time of Din, from Rosh HaShanah until Hoshana Rabba.

One day soon these days will once again be joyous days, as the Pasuk in Zechariah (8:19) says, "Tzom HaRevi'i V'Tzom HaChamishi V'Tzom HaShevi'i V'Tzom HaAsiri Yihiyeh L'Bais Yehuda L'Sason U'L'Simcha U'L'Moadim Tovim".  Then, says the Maharal MiPrague, Shiva Asar B'Tammuz and Tisha B'Av will be Yomim Tovim and the days in between will be Chol HaMoed.  But only for those who mourn today.

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 03:00:00 +0000
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.

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Bnei Yissaschar: Why Were The Keruvim Embracing?

The position of the Keruvim reflect the relationship between Hashem and Bnei Yisroel. When we are doing the mitzvos they face each other. When we stray the Keruvim stand back to back. The gemara in Yuma 54b says that when the enemy came into the Kodesh Kodashim they found the two Keruvim embracing like a husband and wife. At this low point in our relationship with Hashem as the Bais HaMikdash is going up in flames how can this be?

The Bnei Yissaschar answers that even the happiest couples do not constantly show emotion when they are together. If you want to see how much a couple loves each other, you need to witness them when they are departing from each other. Although Hashem was departing from us with the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, we are still his beloved nation. Our departure to our bitter galus let loose torrents of pent up emotion between Hashem and us. This was the embrace that the enemy witnessed.

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Churban HaBayis, Asara Harugei Malchus, & The Holocaust On the day of Tisha B'Av we mourn not only the Bais HaMikdash but all the tzaros in the history of Klal Yisroel.  In Kinos we have a special Kinah about the Asara Harugei Malchus.  Why this tragedy in particular?  We also spend much time lamenting the tragedy of the Churban of European Jewry.  Maybe there is a connection between all three.

The Mishna in the first perek of Keilim says that there are 10 Kedushos with each one being a higher level than the next, starting with Kedushas Eretz Yisroel until the most Kadosh place on earth the Kodesh HaKadashim.  Tisha B'Av is the day these Kedushos were violated and destroyed stemming from the aveira of the famous Tisha B'Av night when the Meraglim came back with negative reports about Eretz Yisroel.

Every generation that does not build the Bais HaMikdash it is as if they destroyed it.    Since that doesn't seem to move us often Hashem actually brings a Churban equal to that of the Churban Bais HaMikdash.  In the generation of the Asara Harugei Malchus there were 10 Gedolim and maybe each one's incredible Kedusha paralleled one of the 10 Kedushos of Eretz Yisroel.

In our generation we don't have the Asara Harugei Malchus because maybe Misas Tzadikim does not phase us like it did Klal Yisroel in the days of Rebbi Akiva.  It wouldn't cause a stir and tragedy in our eyes like it did in that generation.  But numbers impress us.  Losing all our family, friends, and neighbors does make an impact.  We know that achdus of Klal Yisroel is a complete unit consisting of 600,000 unique neshamos.  A Gadol HaDor who is the embodiment of his generation has a Neshama equal to that of the entire nation together.  We find Chazal tell us that Moshe, our Manhig, was equal to all of Klal Yisroel.

The Churban of our generation did not suffice with the sacrifice of our 10 harugei malchus.  We needed to witness an churban of mammoth proportions to be moved.  We witnessed the churban of 10 times 600,000.  The 6 million Kedoshim may have been the destruction of the 10 Kedushos that we received for not bringing the Bais HaMikdash.

May we be zocheh to build the Bais HaMikdash in our day and put all the Churbanos behind us.  May we witness no more suffering only the restoration of the 10 Kedushos and the glory of Hashem!

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Shimshon Pincus - What Holy Tears Are Made Of

The Medrash says that when the Bnei Yisroel who were taken captive by Nevuchadnetzar were sitting on the shores of the rivers of Bavel and Yirmiyahu was about to part from them they started crying. Yirmiyahu turned to them and said "Heaven and earth are my witnesses that if you would have cried even once when you were still in Eretz Yisroel you would not have been exiled."

If we read the story of the churban it is impossible to believe that the Bnei Yisroel didn't cry in Eretz Yisroel. There was hunger, murder, mothers eating children, rivers of blood, death, and destruction, all that and they didn't shed a tear?

Rav Shimshon Pincus explains that they cried oceans of tears while they were in Eretz Yisroel. But there tears were for themselves. Tears of pain, tears of anguish for their tzorus. Anyone can cry those tears. Those are not the tears that Hashem wants. When they sat on the rivers of Bavel all alone in a foreign land among foreign people, far from the closeness of Hashem they cried tears of separation, tears of longing for the Shechina. "Gam Bachinu BiZachreinu Es Tziyon"; Tears for Tziyon. If they would have cared about being close to Hashem when the Bais HaMikdash still stood, Hashem would have never sent them to galus. But now it was too late.

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Avrohom Erlanger - If Only We Had The Strength After the Churban Bais HaMikdash, Klal Yisroel was so distraught over the incomprehensible loss that many people refused to eat meat or drink wine.  Rebbi Yehoshua asked them why, and they said because they cannot bare to eat meat that was brought on their glorious Mizbei'ach or drink wine that was poured with the Korbanos.

"If so" said Rebbi Yehoshua, "then how can you eat bread since there is no longer any Minachos."  "We will eat fruit!" came the response.  "But fruits were brought for Bikurim."  "We will eat other fruits", they answered.  "But how can drink water that was poured on the Mizbei'ach?", asked Rebbi Yehoshua.  At this point they conceded.

"Come my children let me explain", said Rebbi Yehoshua.  Not to mourn the Bais HaMikdash we cannot do, since Chazal enacted decrees of mourning.  To mourn too much we cannot do either because we do not decree on the public things which they cannot live by.  Therefore let us adhere to what Chazal was Misaken such as not finishing to plaster your home, leave one food out of the menu by a meal, and all the other Halachos written in Shulchan Aruch.

We see from here, says Rav Avrohom Erlanger, A Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Torah, that from the time of the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash no facet of our life and no happiness can be complete.  Even in our happiest moment under the Chupah we must mourn over the Yerushalayim of old.  That entails actually being sad during this auspicious moment.

However there are limits to what Chazal can ask of the Tzibbur.  In truth we should take this much further, and every meal we eat should renew our feelings of mourning and loss.  But to demand this of the public is not possible.  On an individual level it is the right thing to do.  We ought not to be able to have a single restful night, and arise in distress in the middle of every dark night to mourn and cry.

We may not be fit for this regimen and it may not be practical for us, but a Jew must know the heavy weight of the loss that we must carry through this long bitter galus.

Tue, 28 Jul 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Parshas Devarim - Kli Yakar: 3 Weeks Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Kli Yakar says that Moshe's Mussar ot Bnei Yisroel when he says in Parshas Devarim, "Bein Paran U'Bein Tofel" refers to the period between 17 Tammuz and 9 Av. Tofel refers to the Chet HaEgel (tofel is from "Tifla" folly which is refers to avodah zara) which happened on 17 Tammuz and Paran refers to the Miraglim which happened on Tisha B'Av.

When Bnei Yisroel is in trouble we can survive either because the mitzvos we perform will merit Hahsem's help or if we are united and have achdus even if we do not deserve it we will be saved. With the Chet of the Egel which was against Hashem we lost His divine protection. With the Chet of the Meraglim which caused sinas chinam we lost our unity and our second possible saving grace.

The Kli Yakar further explains that the Mazal of Tammuz is Sartan, the crab. The crab walks backwards just like we turned from Hashem with the Egel. The Mazal of Av is Aryeh since on Tisha B'Av we started to devour each other like lions. This date was not coincidentally the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash which was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam.

Moshe tells Bnei Yisroel you have put yourselves in a precarious situation by losing protection from both ends and that is why we are exposed to our enemies during these three weeks as the pasuk says in Eicha "Kol Rodfeha Hisiguha Bein HaMitzarim". These are the days that we are defenseless against our mortal enemies.

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Tzadok HaKohen: A 22 Day Window Of Opportunity To Catch Up With The King

Rav Tzadok HaKohen writes in the Pri Tzadik that the three weeks are a unique opportunity to "catch up" with Hashem. Since Hashem's fate is intertwined with that of Am Yisroel during the weeks of Bain HaMitzarim the King has no home. When the King is out of his palace and wandering the country it affords the common folk a unique opportunity to see him and meet him.

This idea says the Magid of Mezerich can be seen in the words of Eicha, "Kol Rodfeha Hiseguha Bein HaMitzarim". The plain meaning refers to the enemies of Klal Yisroel that pursue us and catch us during these sad days. However says the the Magid of Mezerich this also refers to anyone who wants to "catch" Hashem. If we truly pursue Him we can catch Him during this period.

Rav Tzadok adds that there are 22 days in the period beginning 17 Tammuz and ending 9 Av. This is the number of the letters of the Aleph Bais with which the Torah was written. Since we violated the torah, these 22 gloomy days are our opportunity to rectify it.

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 03:00:00 +0000 The Maharsha says in Bechoros (8b) that the 21 days starting with Shiva Asar B’Tammuz and ending on Tisha B’Av correspond to the 21 days from Rosh HaShanah until Hoshana Rabba.  Rav Tzvi Meir Zilberberg says that we see from here that there is special Kedusha in these three weeks similar to the Days of Elul and Tishrei.  Moreover, our avoda during these three weeks will impact not only our Elul, but also our whole next year.  He brings from the Toldos Adam that whoever strengthens himself in Avodas Hashem during the three weeks will merit to be get through the Din of Rosh HaShanah unblemished.

Similarly he brings from the Oheiv Yisroel of Apta that these 21 days correspond to the 21 special days of the year including, the day of Shabbos, the day of Rosh Chodesh, seven days of Pesach, Eight days of Succos, Shavuos, two days Rosh HaShana, and Yom Kippur.  They don’t simply correspond, says Rav Tzvi Meir.  The three weeks actually encompass all the Kedusha of those days.

Although today these days appear bleak and lifeless Be”H with the coming of Moshiach these days will become festive days, climaxing on Tisha B’Av which is similar to Simchas Torah.  Until then, the light of these days is hidden, yet we must still take advantage and tap in to the special Kedusha, says Rav Tzvi Meir.

Fri, 20 Jul 2007 03:00:00 +0000