Hello everyone!  Today, many of us fasted, and all of us experienced the mixed emotions of the day.  Today was Tzom Asarah b’Teves/The Fast of the Tenth of (the Hebrew month of) Teves.  It’s a day of sorrow, but also of spirituality, of teshuva, of dreams and potential.. A day to discover our true selves, and to work on bringing Moshiach.
On this day, many, many years ago, the Babylonian king Nevuchnetzar and his army, surrounded Yerushalayim, and began their siege.. which, terribly, tragically, led to one of the worst events in Jewish history:  The destruction of the first Bait Hamikdash, King Shlomo’s glorious House for Hashem, on the ninth of Av.  (On this same day, years later, the Second Bait Hamikdash was also destroyed.)   Hashem was patient with the Jews– as the Babylonian army surrounded the city, broke down its walls, and advanced towards its heart, Hashem detained them, and slowed down their march, in order to give His children time to do teshuvah, and mend their ways.  They had assimilated among the idol-worshipping natives and neighbors, and their level of kedusha was deteriorating.  They did not improve themselves, and Hashem realized that, in this state, they couldn’t care for and run their cherished Bait Hamikdash.  The fast today is a time, as a great Rav once explained, ‘not for sorrow, but to improve ourselves, and make ourselves meritorious of Geulah’.   I actually wrote this dvar Torah for the Fast of Tisha b’Av, but I decided to post it today, since it is relevant to today’s commemorated tragedy..:


“When we learn about the halachos of  bringing korbanos and bikkurim to the Bait Hamikdash, Hashem considers our humble study of the concept tantamount to us doing the actual mitzvah!

I made a comparison of a similar type on erev Tisha b’Av.

The catalyst for the first Churban (Destruction), was the Jews’ brazen displays of murder, avodah-zara, and immorality.
Here and today, we don’t kill each other.
We don’t bow before animals, celestial bodies, or figures of stone and wood.
And although mistakes are sometimes made between people, we aren’t guilty of immorality.Or are we as innocent and righteous as we think?

We are inevitably approaching the coming of Moshiach.  But, by these 3 sins, are we inadvertently slowing down his coming?

To answer this, we must first relate the 3, to occurrences in our daily lives:  Tradition teaches us, that embarrassing someone, especially in public, is equal to killing them.
According to Chazal (the Sages),  when you become angry, you are worshipping an idol– yourself!
Sometimes we forget the holiness of each gender, and do something that dims that holiness.

How can we counter these 3 sins, and free ourselves from their grip so we can usher in Redemption?

Be careful with your words, so as not to embarrass someone.  Each person is precious, as is their dignity.
Even though it is difficult, try to control your anger.  You’ll feel much better, when you aren’t burdened by the extra weight it brings you.
Try and commit yourself to another act of tzniyus, increasing the holiness bayn adam l’chavero, between person and their fellow.

 The second Bait Hamikdash’s destruction was caused by sinat chinam, baseless hatred, amongst the Jews.  How can we possibly rectify that major shortcoming?  Simple.  Love your fellow Jews, for who they are.  They are part of you, one with you, with the same unifying goal– Hashem.

Hashem gave us the power to change the future by our actions.  But how can we do that, if we allow history to repeat itself?  May Hashem witness our effort, hear our tefillos, and may He send us Moshiach, speedily in our day.”

Sometime, hopefully very soon, we will merit the Ultimate Light, we will discover the truths in and around us.. and the days of fasting and sorrow, will be transformed into feasting and joy!

Moshiach now!!!

The Messenger Bird