Israel Forever

For the week ending 23 July 2011 / 20 Tammuz 5771

Years of Tears

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Almost two millennia have passed since the destruction of the Second Beit Hamikdash and Jews continue to shed tears when they recall that tragedy.

The three weeks between the Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz, when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, and the Fast of the Ninth of Av, when they destroyed the Beit Hamikdash, are called bein hametzarim. This is a term describing the anxiety of a period between two tragedies which demands of us a sense of mourning.

The gentile world, from Napoleon to the simplest observer, have marveled at the ability of a people to mourn a loss suffered so long ago. Our commentaries have suggested that the tears we shed in these days are the building blocks being used by G-d to create the Beit Hamikdash in Heaven which will eventually be brought down to earth to sanctify Israel forever.

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