On Sunday evening, July 31, this writer from Queens was privileged to be visiting Eretz Yisrael and to hear a live shiur in Sanhedria Murchevet given by a well-known speaker and teacher, Mrs. Miriam Friedman.
Mrs. Friedman spoke about the parallel between the 21 days from the 17th of Tamuz to the Ninth of Av (Tish’ah B’Av) and the 21 days from Rosh HaShanah until Simchas Torah. These are both days of coming close to Hashem, she taught.
The three weeks of aveilus we experience is because we are in galus. She noted how you would think we would be saying Tachanun on Tish’ah B’Av, yet we do not because it is a yom tov.
She taught that a person has to look to see the light, and that when you put Hashem in everything, then you see the light.
She shared a mashal where a mother was giving birth and the doctor told her he could only save her or the child, and she chose the child. She said, “How could I live without my child.” On the mother’s yahrzeit when the boy was 13, everyone was crying but he wasn’t crying. This is because he didn’t know what he was missing. He’d never known his mother. The idea is that we need to look back and feel what we are missing. Hashem gave us something so special, a Beis HaMikdash where we could connect to Him. There was such k’dushah from Hashem that the korbanos purified all sins. “We need to know what we are missing. Hashem wants us to know what we are missing.”
There was so much hashgachah when the Beis HaMikdash was here. It was beyond nature. Everyone saw Hashem. We are waiting for the Beis HaMikdash. These days now are days of avodah. The Chasam Sofer sat before every Tish’ah B’Av and filled a cup with tears and drank it on Erev Tish’ah B’Av.
If we focus on what we are missing, then we won’t be like the boy in the mashal who didn’t know what he was missing in losing his mother.
She went on to explain that Hashem took his wrath out on the Beis HaMikdash, and this saved us. Each time that there is a tzaar, there is a sweetness. Mashiach is born on Tish’ah B’Av.
When we go up to Heaven in 120 years, one of the questions we will be asked is if we yearned for the g’ulah. In our t’filos, we say “rebuild Yerushalayim” in the present tense because every day we are building. We need to focus on asking Hashem to reveal His Sh’chinah. We need to ask Him to help us use these days properly.
Mrs. Friedman recounted the famous story where Hashem accepts only the prayer of Rachel Imeinu, who was willing to give up her happiness so as not to embarrass her sister. Rachel tells Hashem that she was m’vater for her sister, so she asked Hashem to please be m’vater for klal Yisrael. In this z’chus, Hashem will bring us back. She noted that being m’vater brings y’shuah.
She then taught that we have to look for the root of why salvation is still not here. We lack kavod ha’briyos. We need to feel the feelings of another. We need to feel the tzaar of another. We need to feel the tzaar of the Sh’chinah and to yearn for g’ulah.
By Susie Garber