by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
Tisha B’Av, this Shabbos, is the day of Jewish tragedy. The first and second Holy Temple’s were destroyed, which also meant the conclusion of semi-genocidal wars and the exiling of the (remaining) Jewish people from Israel. Further terrible events throughout history have occurred on this day as well.
Yet we’re also told that in the future Tisha B’Av will turn from a fast day to a day of celebration, celebrating the coming of Moshiach and the Geulah Shalayma (the complete redemption).
This year we get a small taste of that moment. It’s prohibited to fast on Shabbos, so since Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbos we’ll be having a large and pleasant Shabbos meal this Tisha B’Av. In our synagogue we go further, even having a farbrengen (a chassidic gathering of Torah and blessings) after Shabbos morning davening (prayers).
The Tisha B’Av fast will still occur, being put off until Saturday night / Sunday. Even though we have the incredible blessings of the Land of Israel, Jerusalem, and the ability to have holy Jewish communities and centers of Torah learning around the world, we MUST NOT FORGET that we lack the Beis HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) and the Shechina, G-d’s literal presence in this world.
We long for the day when “the knowledge of G-d will be like the waters of the ocean covering the land”, when evil will be removed and we can serve G-d fully, in joy, every day.
May it be literally today, and our fast turned to a feast THIS YEAR.
(Note, according to halacha, Jewish law, if a fast day falls on Shabbos it’s either moved back to the previous Thursday or to Sunday, depending on the particular fast – different fast days having different rules and one having a unique exception allowing it on Friday). The big exception is Yom Kippur, being holier even than Shabbat, which we celebrate with it’s fast even if it falls on Shabbat. NO ONE should read into this article any statement about NOT fasting on Tisha B’Av or not fasting this year on this Sunday, the delayed Tisha B’Av fast. Every Orthodox Jew is required by Jewish religious law to fast on Tisha B’Av, with limited personal exceptions for health or certain life saving jobs in consultation with one’s orthodox rabbi.)