1. Our Sages state that on the seventh of Av, the gentiles entered the Beis HaMikdash. The intent in mentioning this fact is not, ח"ו, to cause pain and aggravation to the Jews, but rather to motivate them to call to G‑d and demand the coming of the Messianic redemption. This is also reflected in the statements of the Midrash which declares that “A lion (Nebuchadnetzar) arose in the month whose sign is a lion (Av) and destroyed Arial (the Beis HaMikdash) so that a lion (G‑d) would arise and build Arial.”

Thus, every day which passes without Mashiach’s coming raises a question: Why is he delaying? Almost two thousand years ago, our Sages declared: “All the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have passed and yet he has not come.” The reason he has not come is not at all known. What is needed is that the Jews call to G‑d from the depths of their hearts. The power of this call is intensified when many Jews join together and connect the call with prayer and tzedakah. Their unity nullifies the reason for the exile (the separation among the Jews) and hastens the coming of the redemption.

This is particularly true at present, when we mark the passing of an entire week — which includes the whole cycle of time — in the month of Av. This is reflected in the laws of sanctifying the moon — which are related to the services of the Jews for they “will be renewed like the moon” — which require that a week pass before the new moon be sanctified.1

The power of these requests is also intensified by distributing money to be given to tzedakah. Although “night is not a time for tzedakah,” this only applies when no one requests a donation. However, when a poor man stretches out his hand and asks for a donation, one is required to give him. Indeed, one cannot delay giving it to him as the Talmud relates in regard to Nachum Ish Gamzu. Surely, when the Jews stretch out their hand and demand the Messianic redemption — indeed, it has been almost two thousand years that they have been making this request, G‑d will grant their wish. May our service hasten the time when “Zion will be redeemed through judgment and those who return to her through tzedakah,” and then, we will all proceed to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash.