Feeling Good About Tisha B’Av

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4 Responses

  1. Jonathan Rosenblum says:

    Though flattered to be linked in any fashion with the Kozhnitzer Maggid, I resisted Yitzchok’s invitation to post my article for the very simple reason that anything written a week ago is inevitably greatly dated. In this case, two major events have intervened: (1) the loss of eight Israeli soldiers at Bint Jbail; and (2) the death of many civilians in the IAF airstrike on Kfar Qana. Neither contained within them any particularly good news.

    As far as I can tell write now, the best news is that Jews are clearly Hashem’s chosen people. The double standard applied by the world to Israel’s efforts to defend itself establishes this beyond any doubt. We have always been singled out in one way or another, a reflection of the fact that the Jewish people at some elemental level can no more mix with the nations of the world than can oil and water. Properly thought about the world’s double standard should be a chizuk to our emunah.

  2. Baruch Horowitz says:

    The pictures plastered over all the papers are indeed Israel’s worst nightmare. The picture is now changed, and it might mean a U.N. resolution, and a peacekeeping force. Will Hezbollah interpret this as a victory?

    This example of the double standard, indeed points to the Yad Hashem. Those who hold of the standard, of course, put in different(and infuriating) terms. According to Boston Globe’s ombudsman, the double standard regarding not labeling Hamas murderers as terrorists “is a necessary accommodation in a complicated world”

    See here regarding the terrorist label, and regarding collateral damage of the U.S:

    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=31&x_article=548

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2079565.stm

    It is gratifying that everyone admits that Israel has a right to defend itself. Perhaps we shouldn’t take this lightly, because before the formation of the State, there was no such admission. Note the comparison between the statement of Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary, upon the assaination in 2004 of Sheik Yassin, and Koffie Anan’s statement yesterday:

    Jack Straw: “All of us understand Israel’s need to protect itself – and it is fully entitled to do that – against the terrorism which affects it, within international law. But it is not entitled to go in for this kind of unlawful killing and we condemn it. It is unacceptable, it is unjustified and it is very unlikely to achieve its objectives.”

    Kofie Anan: ” …there is strong prima facie evidence that both [sides] have committed grave breaches of international humanitarian law….. No one disputes Israel’s right to defend itself. But, by its manner of doing so, it has caused, and is causing, death and suffering on a wholly unacceptable scale.

    It should be easy to get a job as a speech writer for some of these people!

  3. HESHY BULMAN says:

    This comment for Yonason Rosenblum – yes, there certainly is more of the same, in the double standard being applied – Olam K’Minhago Nohag – and yet there is something profoundly different going on here vis-a-vis about 50% of the American public and a clear majority of the U.S. congress. Somehow reassuring and vaguely disturbing at the same time. I have yet to come come across any attempt on the part of any of the leading spoksmen of our day to directly address in the light of Hashkofoh and History the issue of our current relationship with both the U.S.Government and a good portion of the American people. Are we simply being tested here by the smiling face of our brother Esav with the distinct possibility of, Heaven forbid, the same calamitous outcome we suffered in our exile from Spain ? Or, (dare we think it?) could our current relationship with the U.S., joining forces to battle a common enemy, be a genuine harbinger of the rapprochement we are destined to have with Esav at the end of days ? Thoughts for an Erev Tisha B’Av.

  4. Baruch Horowitz says:

    I agree with the message of the post. If a person doesn’t approach Tishaa B’aav in a positive and hopeful manner, then it becomes difficult to spend Tisha B’aav in any useful way(besides sleeping). I think that for many people, myself included, the reasonable objective would be to at least think about the Beis Hamikdash somewhat.

    However, even regarding feeling as well, there is a difference between aveilus vs. atzvus, mourning vs. depression. The former is at least a feeling, while depression is usually a lack of feeling and is associated with anhedonia(an + hedone= inability to experience pleasure). I don’t think that Rav Yehuda Halevi literally was depressed, even though he speaks of not being able to experience different pleasures in the kinnos.

    I have heard in the past, the analogy mentioned, of Hashem performing surgery on his son, which emphasizes that he is not c’v taking pleasure when the Jewish People suffer, and to the contrary, he is bonding with them. However, people who actually experience the enormity of incomprehensible events like the Holocaust, may have a hard time even with this comparison. The struggle with faith in Hashem is evident in Elie Wiesel’s works, although we can not judge him, just like we can’t judge Eyov, since we didn’t have his experience.

    This is why I am uncomfortable in giving what seem like easy explanations for the Churban in Europe, while someone like Elie Wiesel who actually experienced it, could not relate to the answers. I would imagine that someone who emerged with strong emunah such as the Blushever Rebbe and many others also realized that we ultimately can’t understand Hashem’s thoughts , as the Rambam said, ” If I could understand Hashem’s thoughts, I would be Him”(MN, 3:21).

    Even though there is scar v’onesh in the Tochacha, and some Gedolim may have given explanations for the Churban in Europe, I still think that one can not understand them simplistically, in the sense that we have identified the full picture in Hashem’s mind. One can focus on these explanations in order to do Teshuva, but ultimately, such an enormous event is beyond human comprehension.

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