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Parshot Festivals

It’s up to us to build a better world

  • Rabbi Ari Kievman
I jot down these thoughts, with mixed emotions, returning from an enriching South African Rabbinical Conference in our Holy Land.
by Rabbi Ari Kievman, Chabad Goodness and Kindness Centre | Jul 19, 2018

It’s most uplifting to experience the vibrant rejuvenation of Jewish life after nearly two millennia of exile. Being one of thousands visiting the Kotel is a powerful feeling, yet Jerusalem is in a state far from the glory days that were – as is the case in Southern Israel, where rockets and incendiary balloons launched from Gaza are destroying the region and endangering populace on both sides of the fence.

This period on the Jewish calendar is one also filled with mixed emotions. On the one hand, this Shabbos is the 9th of Av, which is usually observed with fasting as the saddest day on the Jewish calendar commemorating many tragedies that befell our people.

However, one is forbidden to fast on Shabbos, so the mourning is postponed to Saturday night through Sunday evening. Our sages say that when Moshiach comes, Tisha B’Av will be transformed into a joyous festival. When it occurs on Shabbos, we experience a taste of this transformation, so halacha fully permits luxurious eating, drinking and even rejoicing.

I’m confident that the Israel Defence Forces are currently combating the antagonists to defend our sovereignty. Equally important is our assignment. We must mobilise our spiritual warfare through prayer, charity and acts of goodness.

According to Jewish law, one is only allowed to destroy in order to build something greater and better than before. So, how could G-d have allowed for the temple’s destruction? Knowing this and seeing so many Jews at the Kotel reconnecting to their roots makes me hopeful for our resplendent future.

Yes, we still mourn, and yes, we are truly sad. But we are confident that things will get better – and fast (no pun intended).

There is an interesting custom that I heard some people had. As the sun descends toward the conclusion of Tisha B’Av, they go home and sweep the floor. Why? To prepare their homes for the arrival of Moshiach.

Indeed, the Temple’s demolition so long ago was only allowed by G-d to make way for an even better and greater future. We can precipitate that utopian era of Moshiach with our Mitzvot.

So, what can we do? Plenty.

Pray each day. Increase your Torah study. Be more Jewish. Do a favour for another. Do another mitzvah.

Men: If you already put on Tefillin daily, encourage a friend. If you don’t yet, now is a good time to start! Tefillin have been, and remain, our ultimate spiritual Iron Dome.

Women: The acronym for “Neirot Shabbat Kodesh” is Neshek – Hebrew for weapons. Engage this mitzvah of lighting Shabbos candles, your spiritual arsenal, to defend our people and bring light and warmth into the world.

If you don’t yet have mezzuzahs, get them now, one for each doorway in your home and office. If you already have mezzuzahs, get for a friend or a relative.

While others engage in destructive weaponry, we can utilise our weapons of mass construction. What mitzvah will you do?

1 Comment

  1. 1 David B 21 Jul
    So, what can we do? Plenty.
    Pray each day. Increase your Torah study. Be more Jewish. Do a favour for another. Do another mitzvah.

       As a secular Jew I have a very different view ----  Defend myself with absolutely everything at my disposal, because it is unlikely that Israel will survive without majority action of that kind

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