8 Tishrei 5781 / Saturday, September 26, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
 
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My Noahide Tisha B'Av    

My Noahide Tisha B'Av



It can be challenging to connect emotionally to something we’ve never seen, something that happened so long ago, but I want to encourage you that it is possible.

 



Tears poured down my cheeks unhindered. I was vaguely aware that I was sitting in my car parked in a public parking lot – my tears on display for anyone whose gaze wandered my direction. But those thoughts were secondary to my emotion. I wasn’t crying per say… well, technically I was, but it wasn’t from sadness or tears of joy. I was actuality riding the emotions of someone else, as I experienced reading their article.  The woman who wrote the article had experienced a deep and profound loss and as I read her words, the emotion behind them filled my heart and spilled out of my eyes. I wept for her loss and I wept for the loss I experienced through her.  

 

You may be wondering what this experience has to do with Tisha B’Av and the Three Weeks. The answer to that is nothing; and everything. One of the beautiful blessings that Hashem has bestowed upon mankind is the ability to feel deeply. To emotionally connect across time and space. To know and understand that which we have not experienced firsthand. It is this ability that allows us to mourn for the destruction of the Holy Temple AND allows us to long for the rebuilding and the coming of Moshiach, may that day come soon.  

 

If we approach life with an awareness that we are all connected, interwoven in an intricate pattern by the Creator, then we can understand and become sensitive to the fact that when a person we’ve never met has an experience it is possible for the resulting emotions from that person to ripple across the fabric of creation and impact us. How much more so will we feel this when an entire community, a nation, has a collective experience.  

 

To expand this even farther, imagine the intense ripple effect across humanity that occurred when the Holy Temple, the House of God, was destroyed! And this massive wave emanating from the void has continued for as long as the Temple has not been rebuilt. As with most anniversaries, the energy peaks during this time as we remember deeply what we have lost and long with great anticipation toward the future.   

 

So much of Noahide life often revolves around the question “can I / should I do that?” Since we have many wonderful resources, including Rabbi Arush’s book: The Universal Garden of Emuna, to explain the minutia of Noahide observance of this and other events, I will not dive into those details in this article. Instead I’d like to take you on my emotional journey as we all – truly the entire world - navigate this time.  

It can be challenging to connect emotionally to something we’ve never seen, something that happened so long ago, but I want to encourage you that it is possible. It is also important to remember that the loss of the Holy Temple is not a loss that affects only Jews. The Gemara says that if the nations of the world knew how much bounty they received when their sacrifice was given in the Temple during the holiday of Sukkot, they would have sent guards to make sure that their sacrifice was given unhindered. The entire world benefited from the physical and spiritual bounty that flowed into the world through the Temple. Without it, the entire world has been thrust into a spiritual darkness that affects everyone alike. 

 

The following is my process to ground myself into a space of feeling connected with not only the loss of the Holy Temple but also into the desire for its rebuilding. I welcome you to take from this what works for you, add your own ideas, and move into Tisha B’Av ready and open to connect.  

 

  1. 1. I meditate upon the interconnectedness of all mankind. Hashem created us all and therefore we all emanate from the same Source. I remember that although the destruction happened long ago, in actua, it is ongoing. We are still experiencing the void in the world… this very minute, with this very breath, the Temple has not been rebuilt and therefore I am currently experiencing its destruction, with all its ramifications. 
  2.  
  1. 2. I pray that Hashem will open my heart and mind to experience the emotion of mourning. That I may join with everyone else who is mourning the destruction. That I not be afraid to feel these emotions. And, importantly, that I embrace my emuna if I come to this day and I do not feel connected, if I do not feel that I am actually mourning. To know that my desire to mourn the destruction is enough.  
  2.  
  3. 3. I give charity and pray that this positive action will create a ripple in the world tipping the scales closer to the rebuilding of the Temple and the coming of Moshiach, may that day come soon.  
  1.  

With much love to you all and prayers that we will all be witness to the rebuilt Temple, speedily in our days. 

 





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