Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thinking Beyond...

Ahhh, the gamut of emotions.

Today is the 13th Hebrew anniversary of our return to the States. Tonight we begin the month of Av and "Nine Days" of mourning the destruction of our Bais HaMikdash (the holy Temple in Jerusalem) which will culminate on Tisha b'Av (observed this year on Sunday, August 14). And in three weeks from today, Bill and I, with G-d's help, will escort our dear daughter to her chuppah...

As most of you have already been blessed to know (may the rest of you have the pleasure soon), there's lots to do in preparation for a wedding. And much of it is in stark contrast to the customs of this period on the Jewish calendar. 

Generally, we do not buy new clothing during these weeks of mourning - but our bride needs stuff to wear! We do not listen to music - but my sons need to practice the songs they will be singing during the ceremony! We tone down our "happiness" - but for us, this should be one of the happiest times of our lives! What to do? 

When Shani called our rabbi to ask that very question, he answered her so beautifully. He explained that even though we are in the midst of a period of mourning, the home that she and her future husband are preparing to build will be a mikdash m'aht - a mini-Temple, so to speak - and a brick in the building of the Third and Eternal Bais HaMikdash. Therefore, she can go ahead and do whatever must be done to prepare for her wedding and to set up their apartment.

I can't extend that concept to other areas without consulting a higher authority but the message seems to be that the flip side of mourning for what we lost is looking ahead to the splendor and glory that is yet to come. 

So I'm thinking beyond...
Beyond the sadness that Tisha b'Av will generate.
Beyond the national and individual trials and tribulations of life without the Bais HaMikdash.
Beyond my personal longing to be back Home...
and concentrating instead of the redemption that awaits us in the not-too-distant future. 

Soon, please G-d, I will again Remember Jerusalem "Above My Greatest Joy" as Shani and Gedalia stand beneath their chuppah. It's scheduled to take place here in the U.S. of A. but in the weeks and days ahead, I'll be praying that...

...the venue will change, last minute, to our holy Land
with all of you present. Won’t that be grand?
We'll see everyone then, b'ezras Hashem,
in a peaceful, rebuilt Jerusalem.