Saturday, August 13, 2005

Finding the Festivity in the Fast

"What's the point in all this screaming?
No one's listening anyway"

I read a really interesting interpretation at the bottom of Eichah in the Artscroll Stone Chumash tonight when I was waiting for my shul to figure out which lights to turn out before reading the megillah.

It said that there are elements of festivity and joy in Tisha B'av because the day shows that God is not indifferent to the Jewish people. Hashem may be angry at us, he may have punished us and exiled us and put us as a people through untold suffering, but all that is proof that He cares.

The parent who does not love his child does not take the time to discipline him, the person who does not value friendship does not get angry at her friend. You scream because you want someone to listen and it is incredibly infuriating and hurtful when no one pays attention to your calls for help.

God's involvement with us, even His punishment of us, while painful, shows that He is intimately involved with us, that He cares about us and wants us to do the correct thing. And that is the joy in Tisha B'av; it is a comforting joy, an acknowledgement that Hashem is truly there and that He is watching over us, waiting for us to succeed. Someone is listening.


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