We always read the portion of Devarim on the Shabbat before 9 Av. For the haftorah, we read Chazon Yeshayahu (Vision of Isaiah), which gives this Shabbat its name: Shabbat Chazon.

When Shabbat Chazon coincides with 9 Av, the fast is pushed to Sunday. When this occurs, we celebrate Shabbat even more joyfully than usual.

Isn’t it 9 Av, our saddest day? Why the extra joy?

Both the parshah and haftorah seem to rebuke the Jewish people. Both contain the dreaded word eichah, which brings to mind Megillat Eichah (the book of Lamentations), which we read on 9 Av, wherein our prophet Jeremiah laments the destruction of Jerusalem.

Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah represent different stages of Jewish nationhood.

Moses, just before entering the land of Israel, warns the Jewish nation not to forget the great purpose we were chosen for and our connection with G‑d, whose Torah is our eternal guide. Isaiah, during the First Temple Era, chastises the Jewish people for being superficial. Jeremiah, speaking as if the Temple had already been destroyed, laments how low we had fallen.

Each ends with words of hope and promise, and in each case, we come bouncing back strengthened and greater than before.

Sometimes, in order to build, you first need to demolish. A loss is necessary in order to achieve something greater. When you focus on the past, the destruction is devastating. However, when you focus on the future, what seemed awful becomes positive.

Knowing that Moshiach will soon come and our Temple will be rebuilt more beautiful than ever. Seeing how the Jewish people will have achieved unimagined levels of greatness and holiness due to our prolonged suffering in this exile.

Even more than all that, we will finally achieve our ultimate purpose—making this world a dwelling for G‑d. This is why He created existence, and this is why He created us. What could be greater than that?

So is 9 Av happy or sad? It was sad, but it will be happy. This year, we get a taste of our future, a taste of Moshiach. The happy essence of the day is revealed, and we celebrate Shabbat with more joy than usual.

Sometimes, I wonder what could we be achieving in this exile? We live under constant threat, and so many people and nations seem to be against our existence.

Perhaps this is the answer. I have been suffering from ALS for more than three years. Not able to move or talk, I exist. But when visitors come, I am filled with joy, and when they leave, they also seem full of joy.

Perhaps in these last moments of exile, it is our Jewish presence that makes the difference. So express your Jewishness a little more. Find ways to add to your mitzvahs and do them with joy, knowing that you are changing the world.

May this year’s 9 Av fast be pushed off for good!