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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, August 04, 2003

Tisha B'Av Thoughts

Tisha B'Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. Intellectually, I know what I am supposed to be mourning on Tisha B'Av, but I have a very hard time connecting with it. Aish.com (my first stop for jewish sources and inspiration) has a lot of very good articles about the Three Weeks, as well as Torah.org and the main Chabad page. But can we really feel like we miss the Bais HaMikdash? Can we really feel sorry for the mistakes made in the Midbar? I am not sure. I was told that it is virtually impossible to miss the Bais HaMikdash today. That it is extremely hard to want to have it again, because there isn't even another nation that has anything like it that we can be jealous of. It was suggested that I go to the Simon Wiesenthal Center homepage and remind myself that with all the Anti-Semitism that is out there today, we really are in Galus. And that we should want to get out of Galus as soon as possible. And then I think about every day at work, when I struggle to fit in with my non-Jewish co-workers (and should I really want to fit in, or should i keep myself separate?), when I work at being a kiddush Hashem, a good example of an Orthodox Jew, since I am the only one most of the people I come into contact with know. Just this morning a co-worker told me about an Orthodox woman she saw who she tried to smile to who wasn't friendly back, and I found myself making excuses for this woman who I didn't know, because I didn't want someone else to think that we aren't friendly. And then I think, THIS is what it means to be in Galus. It means that not only are we not seen as a light unto the nations, but people take every action we make and scrutinize it and put a negative spin on it. It means we must watch our every step and be cautious with every word that comes out of our mouths, lest it be taken the wrong way. This is the loss of the Bais HaMikdash, that we can never really be comfortable, no matter where we live or how much we think we have been accepted. Until Moshiach comes, we must always be on guard, on our toes, and watching every step we make.

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