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Insights

Thoughts and Reflections

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

A Debt of Truth
Musings on Tisha B'Av
What remains of the destroyed Temple to be held as "collateral"? What is the debt whose payment will trigger the Temple's return to us?
I Don't Have a Dream
What do we do when a bad dream becomes too horrible to bear? We make ourselves wake up, and all the impossible predicaments and disturbing contradictions disappear as if they never were.
Are We Really Independent?
We have our own state; so why do we still mourn our exile on Tishah B'Av?
Memory
Jews never had history. We have memory. History can become a book, a museum, and forgotten antiquities. Memory is alive. And memory guarantees our future
Can We Still Be in Love?
Jewish history is comprised of two segments: pre and post Temple destruction. The first era is marked by miracles and constant divine intervention; the second by suffering and Divine concealment.
Looking Forward
After we grieve or cry we leave the world of sorrow and move into the world of action, doing whatever possible to create a better tomorrow.
A Tisha b'Av Prank
They opened a skylight in the study hall and dropped a snare; when someone walked into the study hall, they would yank on the rope so that the snare fastened itself around him, and pull him up to the roof...
Temporary Setback
Though I tried to summon some platitudes of comfort, he was having nothing of it. "I started off with nothing," he declared, "G‑d blessed me till now, and this is just a temporary setback..."
Consolation
When you’re feeling sad, do you go to your father or to your mother? Is it transcendence that you seek, or the solacing embrace that assures us that nothing is meaningless, that everything we are and feel can be borne, inhabited and redeemed?
The Legalities of Destruction
According to a law set forth in our Parshah, G-d's destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was not just a tragic event -- it also may have been illegal...
Unwarranted Love
Do good. Don’t wait for others to start. Be an initiator, the others will respond. It’s impossible that they won’t. Some will react sooner; for others, the process will take more time. Ultimately, the heart opens to the heart.
Making the Temple a Reality
Despite its tragic associations, this period is characterized by strong positive spiritual influences. On the temporal plane, this is reflected in the fact that the period of Bein HaMetzarim falls in the summer...
Seven Degrees of Consolation
If galut is a time of estrangement between G-d and Israel, why were the two keruvim embracing at the time of the Temple’s destruction? Wouldn’t the destruction of the Holy Temple mark a nadir in our relationship with the Almighty?
The Palace and the Pigeons
The precious jewels had been scattered to the farthest reaches of the globe. How would the king recover that which was most dear to him?
Stones with a Soul
The Western Wall--Where the Soul is Always Whole
The Western Wall is a place of national nostalgia, a focal point for our collective pining over a lost glory. It is the symbol of our hopes for the future. But it’s also a symbol of what still exists...
A Season of Perfect Faith
One whispers, G‑d’s voice audible from within the cherub’s wings. His words silence the howl of the storm. I Am with you now more than ever before. You are my only; never shall we part.
The Three Eichas and the Rebbe’s Example
Three Jewish prophets opened their hearts to their beloved nation using this mysterious word: Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
Lonely in a Crowd
The girl behind the counter asked, “How are you today?” but you know that she didn’t really want an answer.
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