I am accustomed every year on the evening of Tisha B'Av to mention the famous story of Napoleon walking on the night of Tisha B'Av through the streets of Paris and hearing all the noise emanating from one of the synagogues in the city. He came in and saw a very strange spectacle that the whole community was sitting on the floor with candles in the dark, crying, sobbing and saying lamentations.
Napoleon asks one in the audience: 'Who died? What mourning leads to such intense feelings? '
This aroused the emperor's astonishment that he had not heard of it. He was as usual updated on the news and he usually also generated them. He was told "it did not happen now, but about 1,800 years ago."
Napoleon then said that such a nation, with a national memory capable of living and experiencing this memory with such vital power, is a sign of a great nation. An important people who will surely see its wonders in the future as well.
This year I was recently in Paris (we went there to dine with his father, Grandpa Moshe, who underwent back surgery there) I walked the streets that Napoleon walked. I thought to myself, maybe he could be invited for a state visit to the Land of Israel today, to come and tour, listen to radio and television, linger on what was being done.
What Napoleon would say about the people of Israel today I do not know, but I can say with certainty, from primary sources, what his spiritual descendants would say, what they have to say about the people of Israel and the State of Israel today. In many places in the world, the people of Israel today are a very despicable and lowly people, a people that provokes a lot of ridicule and disgust.
People who spit on him, shoot him, kill his citizens and he does not defend himself! In Europe, by the way, they did not hear the slogans "restraint is power," "restraint is power." They have not heard that a nation that weakens its self-love and seeks in any way to protect its enemies and keep them all guarded, is to be huge.
We need to understand the two visions, on the one hand, the people of Israel are a wonderful people who do not forget their past and longings for their future even in humiliated situations, and on the other hand, the people of Israel, precisely in its resurrection and rebellion, forget its greatness
The spiritual curve of these two contradictory visions lies in the series of education we go through every year and which opens on the 7th of Tammuz, the day the tablets are broken, the day of the beginning of calamity. Within these three weeks until a conclusion is reached on Tisha B'Av.
The Gemara says that these days of days of mourning, sorrow and fasting, in time of peace will be days of joy and gladness. "Give Peace a Chance," a Peace Song, a Peace Process.
Hello is a very common word today. I do not know if anyone did this, but when analyzing a literary or media text, there are all sorts of scientific means of discovering the hidden messages of the text. One of them is the number of times a particular word appears and enters the veins and an axiom of, so to speak, the obvious is formed. That is why it is very important to learn what "peace" is.
There is controversy. Rashi says that the meaning of peace is that Israeli power is what dictates and guides the life of the world, it is called peace. The Ramban explains that peace is the Temple. But since we have not yet reached either, if there is no change in the situation, then also on Tisha B'Av this, we will have to fast because there will be no peace yet so we are exempt from dealing now with the halakhic (fasting) aspect and enter into the more inner meaning of peace.
The first stage is that the people of Israel are a simple people among the nations. Not bowing, not confused and not crawling, but overcoming with great heroism. But that is not the purpose. The second stage, the second blessing, is the appearance of the word of God by the Temple that affects all the peoples of the world and will be built with the consent of the Gentiles. Eternity is Jerusalem and glory is the Temple.
Jerusalem is being fought for. The Israeli national courage must be expressed. According to Rashi, war is called peace. Then, according to the Ramban, the Spirit of God will be attained, not by war, but by many nations seeing the light of Israel and seeking the face of God. It is the temple of the light of the world. It is not necessary to say that there are disagreements between Rashi and Ramban, their definitions can be seen as a "peace process."
Ostensibly we could understand the matter of these days (days between the Egyptians) against this background. The people of Israel seek peace and in the absence of its execution we mourn, as a man mourning his death. But this death is not absolute, for if the dead man rises at his feet he is probably not so dead.
It also explains Napoleon's perplexity that the dead are truly doomed to be forgotten from the heart after twelve months. What does it mean to forget from the heart ?! Not on us! A person mourns a relative and the like, all his life he does not forget. He remembers the father, and perhaps the son, etc., but the great impression, the one that does not allow for the creative and flourishing satisfaction of life, is for up to a year, from now on life continues to flow. The person with life. The dead are forgotten from the heart.
Rashi explains that the reason our ancestor Jacob mourned endlessly for Joseph was because Joseph was alive. The dead are doomed to be forgotten from the heart. We too mourn the great lack of peace, because it is not an absolute mourning, it is a very long mourning, without oblivion.
It may be true to look at these days, but there is a great difficulty, because these days are called "time", the sanctity of time, an encounter between holiness and time, like the sanctity of freedom on Seder night, the night of the holy holiday, which is alive and alive all the time, This one works in secret.
But how can we talk about the sanctity of Tisha B'Av, how can it be that we meet with this sanctity on Tisha B'Av, once with the peak of mourning and once with the peak of joy? It is strange!
Therefore we need to delve a little deeper into the foundation of the sanctity of time. What do we meet with on Tisha B'Av? Abraham our father was unceasingly connected to the good in every man. You do not have a person who does not have a foundation of great and important good, and all the more so, you do not have a nation that lacks the content of divine good. This good depends on peace. In the process of peace and its successful conclusion, according to the Ramban method, in the Temple. When there is no temple, then the reality is very difficult and complicated.
From the day the Temple was destroyed and honored from the house of our lives and scattered among the Gentiles, not that there is no holiness in the world, but there is a cessation of its operation. There is joy, happiness and hope in the world and lots of other good things and developments, but all of these are external joys, it is cosmetic, not in this will the balm and calm come to the secrets of man. There is a claim to something else, a different enlightenment.
To be content with the good things that exist in the world and the saying of 'well, the situation now is not everything, it is not the utopian utopia of the supreme good, but that is what it is. We want peace and want many things, what is possible, "is a disregard for the incessant internal demand for perfection. I am very, very, very far from this level. Whoever feels he is there, is free from me. I am very trapped in the little tangles and disappointments and all the fragile parts of life.
Once a year we get to meet with the holiness of Tisha B'Av, the overturning holiness. The very simple truth is that this sanctity is fixed and exists, it is not overturned. There is no such thing as the sanctity of joy and the sanctity of sadness. On Tisha B'Av we, all of Israel, meet the sanctity of aspiration, the aspiration for peace. On this day we all enter the peace camp.
Now the encounter with the lack of peace on Tisha B'Av, it is an entrance to the lions' den, when there will be peace and the light of the world will shine in all its radiance, so it will be an immense joy beyond it.
The ability to ascend to the holiness of the day of Tisha B'Av, to the true aspiration and longing, as in any holiness of time, very much depends on where we are when we enter holiness. The question is whether our lives all year round are geared towards the sanctity of Tisha B'Av. Do we study, internalize and grow in comparison to them, or do we not give our minds to it and are not engaged in the moral tendencies and do not develop the delicacy ourselves, and then comes Tisha B'Av and only fasts because that is what they were told to do.
He who stands all year, stands in his position and absorbs and longs to be songs of the Knesset of Israel, when Tisha B'Av arrives, such a person can not eat and drink on this day, because to eat and drink is to live and on this day there is no life, it turns out there is no point in life, Life in the wash and pamper them with a pin.
There is no point in continuing life in fertilization and reproduction. He can not even hold on to the world by locking the sandal. To the extent that. They are our life and the length of the days of Torah study - no. When the temple is destroyed, when the divine stream does not shine, there is no point in life, all the storms of the world are revealed as nothing, nothing.
Full of bustle and rage and meaning no - it is all life on Tisha B'Av.
On Tisha B'Av, the encounter with the sorrow and lack of the Divine in the world and the encounter with the claim to aspiration allow us to observe the roots of destruction and the roots of perversion. Not intellectual viewing, but watching to correct.
When Israel is among the Egyptians, like a deer trapped among the straits of the field, the enemies of Israel can attain them. When Israel diminishes, dwarfs and narrows their aspirations and reduces their value. We can talk about it all year, but on Tisha B'Av we can experience it. Experience the suffocation agony that the sparrow requires.
In our electronic and written communication there is only one topic and not two, I exaggerate a bit there is at the end the weather, it is not that either, and here and there there are some curiosities like some old woman who ran her some tank and she lives, but most news, culture and literature are busy Only one and that is the erasure of the advantage of the people of Israel.
The spiritual amalekism that strives, not to destroy, kill and lose in the body, there are also some, the truth is that they are less dangerous, but the main trend is the repetition and cessation of the recognition of "you have chosen us". The attempt to limit the people of Israel and define it in certain producers and discuss it with the same criteria as all other nations.
It will not help, thousands of books will be written thanks to normalcy, the new Israelis, wherever you go, will write and preach and poison and say that there is nothing between Israel and the nations until the new Middle East. It will not help anything. But this is the simple aspect that should of course be memorized and noted that we have a different history.
When the Foreign Minister (Shimon Peres) writes about his aspiration to be eliminated from the world with Israel and Israel will no longer be remembered there, it is probably the aspiration and policy and this is what is called the Oslo Plan.
The basic premise of the person who wrote the agreement is that there is no more room for the people of Israel and the peoples in general to be in the world. According to this sigh, we are moving into an age of globalization which means peoples, economically security and even the individual personal identity of the person who feels belonging to something national, all these things, in the age of globalization will pass from the world and there will be no need for army and borders between people.
And what about calling the Red Sea, Mount Sinai, the Temple, the Prophets, etc., something that can be swept into a drainage pit on the road. 'Leave, it's just a complication. Who needs it. We're going to fix the world. '
These things are visible, these are the revealed Egyptians, but we need to penetrate deeper than that and understand our aspiration for divine sweetness, an aspiration for unbounded spiritual richness with openness and the ability to absorb everything and above all, without limiting towards the divine currents that exist in the world.
In a person's name there is something that hints at its essence. The name of a holiday and the sanctity of time also have meaning. The path to learning about a holiday goes through understanding its name, like Pesach at the time of our engraving. But Tisha B'Av has no name and it is really impossible to mark it by name, because the sanctity of Tisha B'Av is unlimited.
On Tisha B'Av man is open to the brides of the soul to a living God and to happiness that has no limit. This is the true and courageous aspiration for the building of the Temple. It is possible to write a book, but I do not intend to write, about the longing to build a temple as the pinnacle of postmodernist culture.
A person lives out of trends. When a person has no challenge, trend, purpose, then life loses its value. The more sublime, sublime, and rich the purpose and trend, the more the quality of life develops.
There is a common thesis in life and literature and thought that there are trends that fail to be achieved, but there are trends and purposes since they are achieved and life is emptied of their content, they turn out to be very small. "This? Is that what I aspired to? Money, pleasure '
Before I left for France, I wanted to learn French, so I read The Little Prince, a children's book, and there's a chapter there that's been busy counting stars for 40 years. Why are you a star writer? Because they are mine. The book is made with a very beautiful ironic talent.
I heard on the radio that we interviewed someone who had been the head of the Communist Party for many years. Ask him gently, what do you do with all the disappointment from the disintegration of communism? And he replied, "What do you mean, communism is alive and well?" What did you not notice that communism is dead? "Suddenly, this is just the beginning." But many others are disappointed and see communism as a failed God. They have achieved the goal and it is crumbling.
In modern culture there is a kind of thought about how many times, for thousands of years, one can progress to some goal and even give one's mind to it, achieve it and in the end be disappointed. So there is no purpose, no point in life, life is just. Then there are very smart people who have taken on the craft of tattooing all the foundations that a person sets as a trend and purpose.
On my son's room, on the door, there is a poster that says, "It's good to die for the ideal, but you should die slowly because the ideals change, and maybe you die for the wrong ideal." There is sometimes some desire to break free from the trending search.
One has to live and walk towards a goal, of course, but it has to be one that leads to a goal superior to it and superior to it indefinitely and until it can be reduced in the form of a trend. This is the temple.
My cousin (from her illness) suggested that it might be possible to move the Temple to some place, to find an alternative site for it to be built in peace. I said it would be built there in peace.
The temple building, with tangible walls and walls, will be built in a very very specific place and in the form of very precise architecture, but in this particular trend building there is an encounter between the physical and the supreme spiritual, between the limited and limited human and the sublime that no thought and perception can encompass.
When we pray that the Temple will soon be built in our day, we mean that it is not something abstract, but touches on our day and our lives. Not as a philosophy, hallucination or distant dream. It could be that the temple will be built in a thousand years, it does not matter. "Soon in our day" - meaning that today I have no life out of this context and demand.
How are the people of Israel who have returned to their land preparing for this? For thousands of years they have been trying to completely exterminate Israel or explain Israel. Did not succeed in either. Constantly standing on the point that maintains national identity, memory and longing while any normal people would long ago have assimilated and disappeared from the world.
We are in an education series. How do you build the tens of thousands of your people, the house of Israel, for this? Question that the questions is the question of education. We will inaugurate the generation on the basis of the terrible suffocation and small size of comparing Israel to the nations of the world (in the background - the muezzin readings of Hebron) that we will be open to the world, that we will be Europeans, that we will be Gentiles and assimilated in the Middle East. You have no reduction, a pressure cooker and suffocation agony on top of that.
We need to educate a generation whose connection to the whole is the connection of the essence, of the supreme moral, supreme boundary element that is the essence of the life of the rule, because otherwise the simplest national health will arouse the contempt and ridicule of all the nations of the nation. The Israeli.
For all nations in the world their internal structure, the center, is the object of life, as in animals and it develops with the development of the nation. In Israel this is not so, the thirst is for a living God, for the desired above all that is desired, above all that can be limited and reduced. What empowers us and connects the individuals to the nation is the connection and opening of the inner point.
If this is not done and there is a huge trend to get us into the straits then it is clear that everything is crashing and it is possible to shoot at the capital and business as usual.
I heard on the radio, when Hillary Clinton (then the wife of the President of the United States) came to visit in the midst of shootings in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem and the Speaker of the Knesset took her in an armored vehicle for a tour, she was asked by him. After a day? Apparently, the Speaker of the Knesset wanted to boast of Israeli restraint.
I did not hear her reaction, she almost fainted because such a situation would not have happened there, on the second day already the president was replaced.
On Tisha B'Av, one day a year, we need to connect. Who more and who less. To be national patriots. How is the national affinity in Israel cultivated? When the requirement is made to be connected with the nation in its complete state. Why the soul of the nation weaves and what will be actually revealed in the future.
Educating generations for a strong moral aspiration. To the trend and to what is above it, by the encounter with the ideals and with the foundations of life, with the beauty and with the divine aesthetics in the Temple and with all that will be reflected from it. Then his mental and fresh powers will return to the individual.
Rabbi Eli Horowitz