To channel the sorrow
צילום: איתן אסרף

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Today is the first of the month of Av. Soon it will be Tisha B’Av. In a typical year, perhaps it is difficult to connect with the word “destruction,” but right now there are so many people around us whose world has been destroyed. These are days of sorrow, but there is also a call to channel this sorrow in the proper direction. Not only to cry, but to cry in the right way. Rav Erez Moshe Doron explains it in the following manner:

“Generally speaking, we look for distractions from sorrow to give us consolation. But this year we are called upon to notice the sorrow in our imperfect reality. Not to escape it, not to do everything possible in order not to feel the pain – as is customary in Western culture. Yes, what happens in the world is sometimes bad, sometimes bitter. Yet we are not asking for mere consolation or temporary relief but for complete redemption, a transformation of reality, perfection itself. This is the time of year when we are called upon to fight for the world, to fight for the nation of Israel which is supposed to be different and upon which the world depends. It’s not by chance our sources say that when we ascend on high to the heavenly court, we will be asked, ‘Did you wait expectantly for salvation?’. In other words, did you really want change? Did you believe that improvement was truly possible? We are accustomed to ask for the maximum when it comes to money and material possessions. But at this time of year we ask for the maximum when it comes to the spiritual aspects of life –peace of mind, Torah, and simple happiness.”

Have a good month.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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