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Thoughts and Reflections

The "Three Weeks" are designated as a time of mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the galut (exile).

The Temple Guards and Their Mystical Meaning
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak devotes 25 pages of dense Kabbalistic text to explaining this discrepancy through the lens of Jewish mysticism.
Celebrating Destruction
Despite the obvious rawness of the environment, I could not help but think about the potential this apartment had.
Between the Narrow Straits
The other night it hit me—there is a difference between pain and anguish.
Rebuilding the Temple with Love
Talk about Jewish guilt. It is said that if we don’t witness the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in our lifetime, it’s as if we witness its destruction. If that’s not difficult enough, the key to rebuilding is simple to articulate but challenging to do: to love another Jew for no reason whatsoever.
Who's Your Daddy?
Why is the sad month of Av named “Father”?
Friends are there for empathy and absolute acceptance. Parents are supposed to provide direction. A family is not a democracy; if anything, it’s more like a benevolent dictatorship.
The Pinch
The narrow strait is not a roadblock; on the contrary, it is a mechanism for increased productivity. Hydraulic power plants, rockets and garden hoses employ it...
Why We Mourn
Why the obsession over an ancient Jerusalemite structure? Does the lack of a Holy Temple leave any of us feeling a gaping hole in our lives?
Good Grief
Is Sad Bad?
"There is nothing as whole as a broken heart" goes one chassidic saying. "Depression is not a sin; but what depression does, no sin can do" declaims another.
The Subterranean Temple
Had the Temple not been initially constructed with the knowledge of, and the provision for, what was to happen on the ninth of Av, no mortal could have moved a single stone from its place.
Tammuz—Time for Transformation
Without a doubt, we have experienced tremendous hardship and pain throughout our history—more so, perhaps, than other nations. But Jewish history is anything but tragic . . .
If G‑d regrets the creation of galut (exile) every day, why are we still in exile? How could galut exist, even as a concept, without G‑d’s continued desire that it be?
The Unintentional Intentional Sin
A sin can only be rectified if the guilty person recognizes his guilt. We suffer most from our "unknown" mistakes.
When (and How) to be Sad
If joy is the revelation and expansion of the soul, then sorrow is a soul’s concealment and contraction. In sorrow the soul retreats, silencing all outward expression, shriveling to its narrowest sliver of selfhood . . .
Twelve Sticks
The stick, it can be said, is a piece of tree that has paid the price of leaving home. The stick, it can also be said, is one who has reaped the rewards of leaving home . . .
“Why have they stopped crying?” wondered the villager. “Are they no longer hungry?” Then he remembered the cholent . . .
Searching for G-d
Can “hide and seek” work if the seeker stops searching?
Can a Jew be faulted for failing to constantly search for his Father and yearning for the Redemption? Whose fault is it after all?
What happens when all the pain and torment, all the sins and sorrows of a 4,000-year-old people are squeezed into a space of three weeks?
Breaking Walls
The Kabbalah of the Three Weeks: a buried seed of goodness, a 21-day almond wood, walls that protect and walls that imprison, the pregnant Tet, and a cosmic birth that puts history to rights.
The Great Squeeze
What do a garden hose nuzzle, a rocket, a hydraulic power plant, a shofar, and this article have in common? They all operate on the Pinch Principle
Two Kinds of Good
Lessons for the Month of Tammuz
The “vessel” of life is too small right now to receive and perceive this new increment of good (and G-d). It must stretch beyond itself to accommodate the new light which is forcing its way in.
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