Just A Thought: My Shabbos Shoes For Tisha B’Av

imagesCA01LYTTBy: Aaron Joseph. As the date for a brother’s Chasuna inched closer on the calendar I started getting ready. The usual: suit, ties, hat, shoes and the bit of extras I wanted to surprise him with. I had that date on the calendar circled in bright blue even before the invitations were mailed, after all, I, as a brother and insider knew the date well in advance.

Not that I needed the date circled- I’m not that spaced out- and of course would not miss his wedding for anything in the world. Somehow circling a date on my calendar lent a ting of excitement to each day preceding the Simcha. It reminded me daily to make sure all was ready.

In comparison, it was with a bit of consternation that I received a close friend’s phone call last week about a Siyum he was about to make later that evening. True it was the nine days, and a Seudas Mitzvah is always something special, especially when invited. However three hours short notice was not to my liking.

I had to rearrange my evening schedule. Excuse myself from home supper (milichigs), postpone a promised basketball game with an eager youngster, and an ice cream trip with his older brother. I had to call a Chavrusa and bow out for the second night in a row. Of course a Seudas Mitzvah is worth it. Yet now I was under pressure to get back to Lakewood on time and do my best not to miss the Hadran. If only I could have had a heads-up a day or two in advance- and how relaxed and prepared I would have been.

P.S. It turned out all right. I made the Hadran and had a delicious supper in great company. My Chavrusa had to cancel himself, and as for the ice cream trip- I had some the next night, and I lost the ball game by an embarrassing number. All’s well that ends well.

This Shabbos my Rav mentioned during his Drasha that we should all make some small Kabala during this time of year. Nothing too drastic- but something that would show our creator that I care about the exile that we are in all too long and that His glory is daily trampled.

Many thoughts raced through my mind. Give up blogging for a day? Or perhaps the cell phone over Tisha B’Av itself. A Machsom L’Fi is a classic- but I usually only remember after I said one word too many.

As I walked home from Shul it hit me. Tisha B’Av is on the calendar. It’s not circled in bright blue nor anticipated with tinged excitement. However, it is not unexpected and well, we prepare for it with at least three weeks worth.

I decided I will prepare my very best suit. I will brush my Shabbos hat and polish my Shabbos shoes. I will even prepare a freshly laundered shirt.

Are you catching my drift? I am not looking to be a copout from “real” kabolos, and will definitely take on another “real” one. Yet I am going to show our creator that I am prepared to receive our redeemer with my most refined clothing on stand bye. I will not be caught unprepared and will be ready at a moments notice should that Shofar call. After all, one day, perhaps even this year, Tisha B’Av will be a Yom-Tov.

So while yes- my Tisha B’Av sandals are dug out already, and Rav Shimon Eider ZT”L Three Week handy book is around for a while- I will take the initiative and show the One Above that I am ready for Moshiach and the end of this Golus. I will not be caught with my guard down on short notice. Hopefully, with my Shabbos Shoes ready, I’m one step closer.

May we all merit Moshiach B’mhaira B’Yomainu.

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  1. You know how the gedolim would pack a suitcase in anticipation of the arrival of Moshiach (such as the Chofetz Chaim z’tl)? Why would we not do such a thing? It’s certainly not hard to do – to have a packed small bag with essentials in it. Why is this not a minhag b’yisroel? I’ve considered doing this myself privately, but I am wondering what exactly to pack and what is the true meaning behind it. This differs from the author’s idea, to prepare Shabbos clothing in anticipation of dressing in our best quickly if Moshiach should suddenly arrive, so I’m curious if others out there have thought of such a thing and/or actually have a small suitcase packed.

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