Today is the first Shabbat of the Three Weeks, the time period between the 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of Av (Tisha B' Av). It is a time of deep introspection and and work on the part of people who desire to become more spiritual and truly understand our religious connection with each other and G-d.
This Erv Shabbat we'll talk about the events that happend on Tisha B' Av and focus on an event that happend just last week in New York and what we, as Jews need to do to turn the tide.
Our Father...Our King
As I wrote the Divar Torah for this Shabbat tears ran down my cheeks when I came face to face with the reason for so many punishments...for so many years. The rabbis tell us that the destruction of the First and Second Temple was "baseless hatred" among the Jews. But, going forward, we have learned little about why Avinu Malkenu (our Father and King) continues to shake us into reality. Shake us from our slumber...shake us from being so arrogant to think that we are in charge.
The Horror in New York
Last week in Boro Park a sweet little nine year old boy disappeared and 36 hours later little Leiby Kletzky z"l was found...dead. He died a horrific death at the hands of another religious Jew. For 36 hours Jews who wouldn't step foot in another shul worked side by side with each other. Religious Jews and non-religious Jews searched together. Jews and Gentiles worked side-by-side and then...when the horror was unmasked...joined each other to mourn the the loss of this pure neshama (soul). There were thousands who attended the funeral....thousands. Here is the full story from our friends at Hamodia.
In the words of Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman, "For two days, on behalf of Leiby, people were more forgiving, more accepting and more loving of each other."
It is said that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B' Av and will turn a day of mourning into a day of joy. But only...if we merit His coming. We have...three weeks. Study, daven, learn...do an added mitzvah. If not for yourself...for the world and in memory of Leiby.