Dear reader,

Is it just me, or did you notice how motherhood has this way of making you more emotional? And as the years pass and my children grow up and the grandchildren begin to come, it just deepens.

A few weeks ago, at the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, a friend forwarded me a touching video about a little boy watching his father being called up to service as he longed for him to return home safely. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t watch, and stopped it midway. It just pulled too strongly at my heartstrings.

My youngest daughter, noticing my reaction, assured me, “It’s all right, Mommy. The father comes home. It has a good ending.”

There’s nothing more difficult for a parent than to watch her child in pain. I can’t fathom the terror in the hearts of the mothers and fathers in our Holy Land as they try to protect their helpless children, feeling exposed to attack at every moment of the day or night.

And yet, it is in these moments of utter vulnerability that we realize that we actually are not vulnerable, but that despite it all we are encased in the arms of our Father, who is guiding us and shaping our soul’s journey.

Though G‑d is beyond gender or particulars, the Shechinah is considered the immanent and feminine aspect of G‑d, the part that accompanies her children in their pain through their exile journey. The Shechinah feels her children’s sorrow just like a parent, and yearns for them to be encircled in her warm embrace, where they can never be alienated from one another.

I’d like to share with you verses written by my ten-year-old daughter, Sara Leah, describing this better than I can.

By Sara Leah Weisberg

There is a sound that I cannot hear,
There is a sound that I just can’t bear.
There is a sound that makes my heart dry.
You ask what it is; it is your cry.

It pains me much to see you in tears,
I wish to comfort you in all your fears.
Your smile gives a smile to me,
Always happy I wish you’ll be.

In my heart, you are there.
O Bnei Yisrael (children of Israel), to me you are so dear.
Give me a smile and let me know you’re fine,
So that your happiness will also be mine.

This Tuesday is the fast of the 9th of Av. It is the saddest day on our calendar, marking the destruction of our Temples and the ensuing long and anguishing exile. It is the day that the Shechinah weeps and laments together with each of us.

But just as this day is the saddest day of the year, it can become, at any moment, the happiest day of reunification, with the immediate ushering in of the final redemption.

May our prayers be answered that this Tisha B’Av be transformed to one of joy, as we become reunited with our Maker in absolute peace and everlasting happiness.

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW