Chazal tell us that the Three Weeks, and the month of Av in particular, are days that are set aside for t’shuvah. But that leaves us with a question: How can a person do t’shuvah at a time of mourning and sadness, since Chazal tell us that Hashem’s presence will not rest on someone who is not b’simchah (Rambam, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 7:4), and true t’shuvah cannot happen unless we recognize that Hashem Himself is right there helping us through the process.

A hint to the answer comes from an amazing insight of the Chasam Sofer. According to Chazal, “When Av arrives, we curtail our joy.” The Chasam Sofer explains that the month of Av is a time to stop and reflect. It’s a time when we “reduce” the activities that create distractions in our lives – joyous or otherwise. By doing so, we are more able to focus on and connect to the tzaar of the churban Beis HaMikdash – both on a physical and on a spiritual level. But at the same time, we should do all of this in joy and not in sadness.

How so?

The purpose of any tzaar or nisayon that Hashem sends us is to remember that Hashem is right there behind all difficulty and suffering, and that the experience itself is meant to bring us closer to ourselves, to emes, and to Hashem. This realization alone can (and ideally should) bring with it a renewed feeling of simchah!

May we merit to recognize Hashem through all the difficulties and nisyonos, and may we truly merit to bring the Mashiach and rebuild the Beis HaMikdash speedily in our days!

[Material was previously published on]

List of People Who Need
a R’fuah Sh’leimah

(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Ezra Refael ben Taoos Miriam

Shmuel ben Monavar

Efraim ben Leah

Chaim Hillel ben Rivkah

Yisrael Chaim ben Tamar

Asher ben Rima

Chaim Shmuel ben Leah

Yechiel Nasan ben Sarah

Tinok ben Peninah Esther

Moshe Chai ben Shoshanah

Yaakov ben Esther

Chaim Refael ben Chanah

Mikol ben Nigoria

Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Alter Shmuel ben Chavah Leah

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Chaim ben Malkah

Yehudah Yudel ben Miriam Gittel

Yehudah ben Peninah

Yura Avner ben Devorah

Yonah Gedaliah ben Pesha

Efraim ben Leah

Chaim ben Sarah

Yisrael Tzvi Yosef ben Toiba

Michael ben Mazal

Eliezer ben Chusni

Nataniel ben Chusni


Sarah bas Leah

Rus Victoria bas Tehilah

Esther Malkah Rinah bas Simchah

Malkah bas Tauba

Ronit bas Olga

Perel bas Nechamah

Rachel Leah bas Sarah

Tehilah Hadasah bas Elanah

Hadas bas Orah

Malkah bas Nechamah

Tziporah Stella bas Shirin

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Chayah Shoshanah Tovah bas Esther

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Gittel bas Sarah

Esther Hadasah bas Devorah

Esther Pessel bas Baila Chayah

Leah bas Chanah Serel

Zilpah bas Esther

Malkah bas Sarah Rachel

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.