Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Take It Away!

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Dear Ribono Shel Olam (Master of the World),

I do not appreciate your holiday Tisha B'Av (the 9th of the hebrew month of Av). With respectful apologies, I must point out that it has turned into a basically meaningless occasion.

Memories of the Divine Presence are long faded away. Not even written descriptions of being with the Presence remain. Memories and tradition of the Beis HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) have passed into far distant history with nothing but a few brief barely understood written descriptions remaining. No pictures or drawings, no real concept of what was.

On Tisha B'Av we read Kinnos, a book of lamentations. Those written for the Holy Temple stopped being written over 900 years ago as memories, traditions, and even writings of that time faded away. While on Tisha B'Av we will read of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Beis HaMikdash, at best we will be filling our minds with the horrors not of then - to which we can't relate - but to the Holocaust for people, and maybe to 9/11 for the destruction of a building and city.

Ribono Shel Olam, dear Father in Heaven, it's been too long. We cannot truly yearn for what has passed from living memory and even from history. I have ascended Har HaBayit (the Temple mount, to the areas permissible by some authorities) to look for even a single stone of the Temple to mourn over... none are to be found.

I'm sorry dear Father, we just no longer can relate. For a parking lot to be opened on Shabbos in Jerusalem, for this we can fight tooth and nail for the mitzvah and to preserve the sanctity of Jerusalem. For an inch of the land to be given over, for this we can fight till they crack skulls to move us.

But for the Beis HaMikdash? We simply can't connect anymore.

Dear Father, it is forbidden to substitute one mitzvah for another. We cannot fast on Rosh Hashana, nor read the megillah on Yom Kippur. We do not eat matzah on Sukkot, nor fast on Purim...

Since we can no longer observe Tisha B'Av the way the mitzvah requires, we cannot truly mourn the Temple of which we no longer understand, picture, can find a single stone of, or relate to, please dear Father since we can't observe Your mitzvah properly TAKE IT AWAY!!!


  1. I've come to conclusion that G-d is just not your sentimental grandma who's gonna be swayed by this talk. Not yours, not R' Brody's, and not even R' Levy Yitzchak's Miberdichev zy'a. So maybe time to take another approach?

  2. In Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Tweski's book, "Rebbes and Chassidim: What They Said - What They Meant," we read the following (pp. 169-170):

    "King David said, 'I will not allow my eyes to sleep nor my eyelids to slumber until I find a dwelling place for G-d' (Psalms 132:4-5). David was referring to his determination to build a Temple for the Holy Ark, a task which G-d assigned to his son, King Solomon.

    R' Boruch of Mezhibozh interpreted this verse otherwise, 'I will not allow myself to sleep until I have made myself an appropriate dwelling place for G-d.'

    The Torah states, 'They shall build for Me a Sanctuary, and I shall dwell within them' (Exd. 25:8). The commentaries call our attention to the wording. The Torah does not say, 'I will dwell within it,' i.e., within the Tabernacle, but rather with THEM, i.e., within each individual.

    In the recitation of the Shema prayer before retiring we say, 'I forgive anyone who angered or antagonized me ... whether against my body, my property, or anything of mine; whether he did it intentionally or unintentionally ... May no person be punished because of me ...'

    If we say this with sincerity, we elminate every trace of hostility toward others. We can then develop a true ahavas Yisrael, love for others. As Hillel said, this is the foundation and all-encompassing principle of the Torah. G-d makes His presence rest where His children are unified.

    Before we retire, we should make an accounting of the day. What did we accomplish, and where were we derelict. We should wholeheartedly forgive anyone who offended us in any way. When we cleanse ourselves of our character defects, we become an appropriate dwelling place for the Divine Spirit.

    This is what R' Boruch meant. We should not allow ourselves to bring closure to the day until we have prepared ourselves to receive the Divine Spirit."

  3. G-d listens, it's just that sometimes He says not yet.
    We can use this time though to each improve ourself, and with Hashem's help, bring the geula closer


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