Mourning doesn't have to be sad.
Or does it...?
“I hate fasting” She says to me for the 5th time that afternoon.
“You know…I think everyone hates fasting.” I comment. She looks at me quizzically. “Just an observation I’ve made about society in the few years I’ve been on the planet for.”
“Yeah yeah.” She waves her hand dismissively “I’m not talking about the not eating part, that’s not so bad. You can sleep through that or occupy yourself otherwise”.
“Maybe you can sleep through it.” I sigh. “I still haven’t mastered the art of napping. That means I’m awake from the morning till the night.” I’m quiet for a moment. “Anyway, so why do you hate fasting then?” I ask.
How can you mourn something you don’t remember? I know, they all say you’re supposed to mourn that fact that we don’t remember. We are supposed to mourn the state of our nation, our people, our land, our nation.
On paper it sounds almost too easy.
It seems every morning there’s another tragedy; a terrorist attack, a car accident, a friend’s father diagnosed with cancer, another broken engagement, the countless teens grappling with drug abuse, addiction, depression and suicide.
It seems almost too easy to tap into that power.
That’s how we’re supposed to connect to tisha b’av, to fast days, to mourning.
That’s what we’re supposed to do, right?
I look at the clock in the bottom right corner of my screen. Another hour and half to go. My head burns. What can I do? I refresh my inbox for the 678th time today.
A new e-mail pops up: “Check out this Achdus!”. I open the e-mail. It’s empty, empty except for a link.
I click on it and almost immediately feel like I’m transported into another world, another world beyond my pounding drummers-inside-my-head headache and the four tangerine painted walls of my room. Suddenly I’m there with them, at the kosel.
I watched. I cried. I sang along.
I felt connected to this wonderful nation of people.
I began to feel something else…I couldn’t put my finger on what. It was…something positive.
“So how did it go?” I ask her that night as I tidy up my room.
Seems we’ve done the switcharoo, me a usually an easy faster, and her the struggling one have been flipped. “Well I’m glad to hear you had an easy fast, but I meant the whole mourning thing”. She was quiet for a moment.
“Oh that? In the end it wasn’t like that, not at all.”
You see, there’s another lens to see this amazing day through. You don’t have to sit through the day mourning and getting sucked into a hole of depression. Tisha Bi’av can be beautiful.
Just look at the pictures inserted above? Do you see this achdus?
All people from different walks of life who all want to just serve Hashem, coming together to connect, to unite.
The Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam, but just look around, we’re rebuilding it in front of our eyes with our actions!
Why must the darkness push us forward? We can grow through connecting to the power of positivity, achdus, and light we are currently creating in Am Yisroel.
Yes, there is still what to mourn. Unfortunately the Beis Hamikdash isn’t here. And we are so sad for that.
But look around, look at your community, Israel, programs, organizations, hundreds of yeshivos and schools. There is so much good we are building, and I don’t think we take enough time to appreciate that these days.
Let’s take a moment to see that.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Like, follow, subscribe, and all that mushy gooshey obligatory stuff.
– Hadas Bat-el
P.S. You can view the livestream here: https://kollel.ncsy.org/live-stream/
P.P.S. Sorry this is late. Life doesn’t always make sense and neither does this sentence, so there.