(Here are the notes I made yesterday. I intended them just for myself, but then I realized that everyone could benifit from them. As such, I apologize that they’re slightly garbled due to fasting, computer crashes, and other interruptions.)
Today is Tisha b’Av. I’m counting the hours till it’s over, looking forward to a return to ‘normal’ summer. But I also feel as though something is missing.
I sincerely thought that, this year, there will be no more Tisha b’Av. I thought that this year, we would great Moshiach before today. Every minute that ticks by is another minute closer to the end of that opportunity.
It’s not that, after today, there will be no more opportunities until next year. Chas v’shalom. It’s just that now, life will no longer be on hold. The purpose of the three weeks and the nine days is to remember what we’ve lost and to try our hardest to rebuild together. With them over, life goes back to normal. We are still trying to achieve the above goals, however, now we are doing so while having a fun summer, and preparing for school in September.
As I write this, it is just after Shkiya, the middle of the day for us, almost the end of the fast in Israel. Yet there is still hope it will never need publishing.
(At this point, my computer crashed for several hours. Rather than pick up where I left off, I’ll continue chronologically.)
For us, it is four o’clock. I am hungry, exhausted, and frustrated with myself for not being able to connect better, for having to fight myself not to pick up a book or turn on my iPod, let alone learn anything meaningful. But I’m also disappointed.
By now, the fast is well over in Israel. And so far, nothing spectacular has happened. I sincerely believed- and I was let down. But no doesn’t mean no, just no yet. Tomorrow. Next week. Maybe even next year.
But I’m still upset. Before was the three weeks. Then the nine days. Now it’s Tisha ba’v. In a few hours (It feels like forever, but it’s less than five and a half hours, which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that long, especially when you’re not hungry.) Tisha b’Av will be over. There was bombing in Israel. Now there’s a ceasefire. Did we miss our opportunity? Did we not live up to G-d expectations? Or is G-d just saying- Not yet?
There’s still over five hours left on our part of the globe, and even as I try to cry and mourn, I can still be hopeful. And even if we don’t get answered this Tisha b’Av, that doesn’t mean we have to wait a whole year. Throughout the year, as we go to school, take our exams, help at home, have yontif off, go on trips, prepare Shabbos, we can still work towards bringing the Moshiach.
If we remember the message we’ve learned in the past month, if we can remember how we felt with the bombings and the nine days, and internalise it, we can bring Moshiach home regardless of the outside world. In the past few years, the situations have got worse and worse. I cannot imagine anything worse than this, short of the war of Gog and Magog, said to wipe out 20% of us. We need to learn our lesson now, and not wait for something even more tragic and shocking to hammer it home.
Are you with me on this?
Remember. Next year, there will still be a ninth of Av. There will still be a day known at Tisha b’Av. But it’s up to us to decide- will it be a day of mourning? A day of togetherness through pain? Or a day of us celebrating together? Of beating the past history of today and putting a festival in its place?
Let’s work on it together.
One final thought, written today. I was sitting down at my computer this evening, writing a piece of fiction, when it occurred to me- ‘It’s well after Chatzos. I can have music!’ Playing piano for the first time in over nine days earlier had been an exhilarating experience. My favorite music, after three weeks of quiet, should be even better. But for some reason, I find myself fighting back tears. Any guess why?