Dear Friend,

This Saturday is the 9th of Av, the saddest day of the calendar. Yet, walk into a Jewish home, and you’ll find smiling faces surrounding a table set with wine, fish, meats, and other delicacies. How come? Because it’s also Shabbat, our weekly rendezvous with holiness. That night (see here for the exact time) we’ll transition from gladness to mourning, and fast until Sunday night. But for the duration of Shabbat we experience a reprieve from mourning, feasting instead of fasting.

Now, some may see this as a technicality. But a deeper look gives us an amazing insight into the nature of fast days—and all things negative.

The prophet Zechariah foretells that, in the time to come, fast days will become national holidays. Why? Because they are truly auspicious and special days. It’s just that the current crust of reality covers this divine truth, leaving us to experience only the negative.

But when the outer husks will be torn away, the inner sweetness in everything will pour forth.

On Shabbat, 9 Av, as we sip our wine and delight in the Sabbath, we get to taste this reality.

Let's hope and pray that even before the fast, Moshiach will come and this day will become a holiday, forever.

The Editorial Team

PS: How will you be observing this Shabbat and the day of mourning that follows? Please post a comment. We’d love to hear from you…