Friday, July 27, 2012


Fast or Feast?

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.)


  1. We want to change the reality, then we must move ahead. You want the geulah, then let's act like it's at hand.

  2. In Zechariah 7, it's as follows.

    Shall I weep and practice abstinence in the fifth month (Because of the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem) as I have been doing all these years? Thereupon the word of the Lord of Hosts came to me "Say to all the people of the land and to the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh months all these 70 years, did you fast for my benefit? And when you eat and drink, who but you does the eating, and who but you does the drinking?".....Thus said the Lord of Hosts: Execute true justice; deal loyally and compassionately with one another. Do not deraud the widow, the orphan, the stranger and the poor'and do not plot evil against one another. But they refused to pay heed. They presented a balky back and turned a deaf ear. They hardened their hearts like adamant against heeding the instruction and admonition that the Lord of Hosts sent to them by His spirit through the earlier prophets and a terrible wrath issued from the Lord of Hosts. Even as He called and they would not listen "So"said the Lord of Hosts "Let them call and I will not listen".

  3. Of course he goes on to tell us what to do, the rewards and the changes we will see. The problem is that we fast today and nothing changes in our behavior, nothing. So I ask you all, why do you fast? You are all talk, knowing what the traditions are, but you don't correct your path. On monday, you will are return to your way's, committing chillul haShem. Your faith without correction equates to spilling the seed.


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