2 Cheshvan 5781 / Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | Torah Reading: Noach
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Why Another Tisha B'av?    

Why Another Tisha B'av?

Hashem leads us down the path that we choose for ourselves. If we made more of an effort to discover the joy of Judaism, maybe we'd rejoice on Tisha B'av...


“The words of Torah bring joy to the heart…” As we prepare for Tisha B'av, we have to ask how are we observing the Torah…because as Rav Brody shlita says, “If there’s no joy, It’s not Judaism.” How do we know if we are on the right path? How do we know if we are on the wrong path? And how is this connected to Tisha B’av the saddest day in the Jewish calendar?


For many people the Torah is not being properly observed. As the verse says, The Torah can be an elixir of life, or a potion of death.   The tragedy of Tisha B’av is not only that the temple was burned, or that the spies doubted Moshe. Rather, the tragedy lies within our current lack of Emuna in our lives. It is stated in the Gemara (Berachos 3A) that every night Hashem roars like a lion in frustration that we no longer have the Temple. But going further, one can imagine the real frustration of Hashem for his chosen people. We really have no idea how special we are nor the value of our mitzvah observance. Since if we knew the value of each single mitzvah, we’d sing and dance for a 120 years!!


“All of the oil in Saudia Arabia, and all of the money in the Swiss Banks cannot pay for ONE mitzvah such as lighting Shabbat Candles" – Rabbi Lazer Brody. Take a moment right now and close your eyes. Internalize this message from the Rav and let it re-prioritize your life.


Life is so busy...  For a mother to make bread loaves for Shabbat is a challenge in itself while holding a full time job to help support her family. For fathers too, it’s very difficult to step up to the test and pray to guard the eyes day in day out. Just to make a commitment to daily prayer is a trying task. Observing commandments with a frown, tense feelings, or thoughts about other mundane activities is a sign that something is askew. We need to regroup, and renew our commitment to Torah, but how?


Time seems to always be lacking and King David advises “Serve Hashem with Joy!!!”  With a bit of effort through consistently learning and reviewing our Emuna teachings we can succeed at living a successful Torah life.  We need to keep reviewing what we’ve learned. As we approach the day of Moshiach’s arrival, the challenges get harder. Just as a sports tournament increases the level of challenge until the championship. Rebbe Nachman said that as we near redemption, living a life of Emuna will be like climbing a glass wall!


Despite all the challenges, we are still obligated to always remember the destruction of the Temple. For example in a Jewish home we leave a part of the wall unpainted to signify that we are not complete without the Temple. We also say the verse after eating a feast “If I forget you, O Jerusalem... If I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalms 137 5-6)” Women also do not wear all of their jewelry at the same time. Similarly a groom places ashes on his head (where he wears tefillin) and afterwards breaks a dish at the marriage canopy to recall the destruction of the Temple.


The secret to fixing all of the Jewish nation’s problems rests in that one verse, “If I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.” As the Ibn Ezra says, no matter what the occasion of personal joy, the memory of Jerusalem must come first. For the most part, Jerusalem and the Torah are not our highest joy. We need to fix this for the future of our children.


Hashem isn’t just crying out in anguish every night because there isn’t a Temple, he’s crying out in frustration due to our lack of Emuna. As Rebbe Nachman says, the entire diaspora is a result of a lack of Emuna. He’s crying out that we don’t know how to deal with our spouse and kids. He’s crying out that we are failing to use the principles of Emuna laid out simply by the generation’s leader, Rabbi Shalom Arush. The Rav has organized a set of doctrines within Judaism based on the deepest secrets of Torah for the common man to use and succeed. More and more people are waking up to the pleasure in the Torah and it’s because of their dedication to attain the wisdom of Rav Arush’s Emuna books and conversing with Hashem daily.


Homework: Pick someone you know who is struggling with their Judaism and happiness and teach them about the Emuna you have been learning. Treat them to a book or CD. You know the principles, go out and apply them! You can make all the difference!

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