Let’s Be Real – Tisha B’Av 5783 | Rabbi Pinchos Doppelt

I am writing this with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am hoping that this Tisha B’av will be a Yom tov like none other, a Yom tov with non-stop singing and dancing, with many Seudos, and possibly with no Melacha, just like a regular Yom tov. On the other hand, we need to prepare for the worst: once again, a Tisha B’av with Aveilus, sadness, mourning and yearning.

Then there is Shabbos Nachamu. What’s it all about? Many people have live music Motzei Shabbos of Shabbos Nachamu. How do we understand this?

We will start with practical ideas how we can be mechazek ourselves and our families to help speed the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash once and for all.

This week’s Parsha, Parshas Vaeschanan, is usually read on the week of Tisha B’av. Is this a coincidence? Absolutely not.

Let’s see how we can connect this Parsha to Tisha B’av. We don’t need to search too far. I’s within the first words ואתחנן אל ה’.

Firstly, we see that Moshe was desperately trying to enter Eretz Yisroel. So what did he do? He beseeched Hashem to be zoche to enter the holy land – Eretz Yisroel.

We see from here that if we want Eretz Yisroel, we should plead and beg for Eretz Yisroel. We should not stop davening that we should be zoche to enter Eretz Yisroel.

The truth is that our whole life we are busy with the Geula. It’s all over Tehillim and in the Neviim. It’s all over our davening. It takes up half of bentching and Al Hamichya, as well. Many, many songs that we sing revolve around our yearning for the Geula. Shabbos and Yom Tov are full of yearning for the Geula and many of the Zemiros that we sing are about the Geula.

Another thing we learn from the Parsha is the great love Moshe Rabbeinu displayed for Eretz Yisroel. Chazal tell us that although Moshe realized that he could not Eretz Yisroel enter as the leader of Klal Yisroel, he asked Hashem to allow him to enter at least as a regular Yid.

Can you imagine Moshe, the Rebbe, going in as a regular Yid, and Yehoshua his talmid, as the leader? Such was the love Moshe had for Eretz Yisroel.

The truth is that over the years there were many Rabbonim who had prominent positions in chutz la’aretz, but they left everything behind to be in Eretz Yisroel. There were wealthy people who owned large estates and many acres of land, but they sold everything and moved to Eretz Yisroel.

Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz was one of the Tzaddikim who had a burning love for Eretz Yisroel, and he constantly tried every avenue to make Aliya. However, Hashem had other plans for him. He was needed in America, as history has shown us.

He would often say that a Yid who moves away from Eretz Yisroel, is like a polar bear removed from its arctic habitat, and placed in the Bronx zoo. In other words, this is not our real home. Our real home is in Eretz Yisroel.

He would often say that if we are stuck here, then at least we should try to be mechazek our brethren in Eretz Yisroel. We should try to help them settle there and make ends meet. Our hearts and mind should be on Eretz Yisroel.

Baruch HaShem, we have an amazing organization called Adopt-a-Kollel, that literally connects us to the Yidden in Eretz Yisroel. There are many other amazing organizations that raise money for our brothers in Eretz Yisroel. I believe that this gives us a tremendous connection to Eretz Yisroel.

However, we can go even further than that, and I would like to preface it with a story.

There was a man in a nursing home who was the brother of a famous philanthropist. Every now and then, a Chassidishe Yid would come and spend time with this sick man and give him tremendous chizzuk.

One day the man’s brother, the philanthropist gets a message from the Chassidishe Yid that his daughter became a Kallah. The philanthropist sent a message that he shouldn’t worry, as he will foot the bill of the wedding.

The man responded that I don’t need the money as I am the CEO of a huge company. The philanthropist was shocked. The man explained that as Chassidim, we are not satisfied with doing Chessed with our money, we want to do chessed with our body as well.

In a similar vein, it’s fantastic that we are connecting ourselves to Eretz Yisroel with our money, but we can also connect ourselves to Eretz Yisroel with our heart and soul as well.לבי במזרח. How? By yearning to live in Eretz Yisroel.

But it’s not so simple. Most of us cannot pick up and move to Eretz Yisroel, as we have our commitments or other cheshbonos. The solution is to yearn for the Moshiach ben Dovid to come and take us all to Eretz Yisroel. This is the way we show our great love for Eretz Yisroel.

The Seforim teach us that the generation of the Midbar were not Zoche to enter Eretz Yisroel because they showed a lack of chashivus for our beloved Eretz Yisroel.

The opposite is true as well. If we show our support and chizuk for Eretz Yisroel and we are anxiously awaiting to return to Ertetz Yisroel, then this shows our great chashivus for Eretz Yisroel. If that’s the case, then we deserve to return to Eretz Yisroel.

Perhaps with this, we can understand the famous words, ציון במשפט תפדה. Someone that is connected to Tzion [aveilei Tzion] by showing his love and chashivus, is rightfully deserving to be redeemed. This is the avoda of the nine days and Tisha B’av. Let us build ourselves together in this area [especially during these days].

Hakaras hatov – Another thing we can work on these days is hakaras hatov. We know that the Navi tells us that we had stooped lower than even an ox that recognizes his master, and we did not show our appreciation to Hashem r”l.

If that’s the case, we should fill up these days with non- stop praise and gratitude for the billions of Chassadim that Hashem is constantly doing with us. This will bring down the Bais Hamikdash speedily.

Let us conclude with a thought on Shabbos Nachamu. We asked earlier, why is it called Shabbos Nachamu and what is all dancing on Motzei Shabbos Nachamu all about? We still did not get the Bais Hamikdash back.

We know that just like the Bais Hamikdash was the holiest place of the world, Shabbos is the holiest time of the week.

The Seforim teach us [Nesivos Shalom and others] that although the churban Bais Hamikdash affected the world tremendously, it did not affect Shabbos.

Similarly, the Chofetz Chaim famously writes that the day of Shabbos was not included in the klala of the Eitz Hadaas [for this reason, although the klala from the Eitz Hadaas was for the man was to work hard, on Shabbos we don’t work – we rest].

I believe the answer is as follows. On Tisha B’av we are stating that we miss the Bais Hamikdash terribly and we cannot manage without it- כי היא בית חיינו. It was the source of our life [as we elaborated recently].

However, when the Shabbos Kallah arrives afterwards, we are consoled with the fact that we still have the Shabbos that is untouched, which enables us [if we really work hard] to connect to Hashem like the Bais Hamikdash did.

On one hand, we are in pain with what we lost, but we are showing our hakaras hatov to Hashem for this wonderful gift that gives us consolation. Therefore, this can be one reason that we need to dance with hearts full of gratitude.

Obviously, for many of us without the Bais Hamikdash, we have trouble connecting to Shabbos properly. Therefore, throughout the Shabbos we beg Hashem to take us back home, so we can reconnect to Hashem with fear and love. נפשי חולת אהבתיך. We are nebech sick.

For those that Baruch HaShem are able to connect to Hashem on Shabbos in a way that recognizes the loss of the Bais Hamikdash when their Neshama yeseira starts exiting and they proclaim נפשי חולת אהבתיך.

How will Hashem heal all of us? בהראות לו נועם זיוך–when Hashem will show us His sweetness and His shine, which is with the coming of Moshiach. אז תתחזק ותתרפא–then we will get chizuk and we will be healed. והיתה שמחת עולם.


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