Distance Is A Virtue – 17th Tammuz & the 3 Weeks

Today, Moshe smashed the ten commandments and the tablets written by the “finger of God” were destroyed. These tablets were so awesome that had they not been destroyed, the light of the Torah would have connected us to God in an inseparable way. Instead, they were smashed and we received a Torah where the answers to life’s challenges and difficulties were hidden and needed to be found.

I don’t know if you were this kid or not, but the one that can’t seem to stay out of trouble. His dad grabs him by the hand and shows him that his actions are wrong and stupid. But the kid can’t handle this direct approach and becomes permanently rebellious, further drifting away.

We behave the same way with God. We are upset when we feel disconnected or don’t understand the meaning of difficulties. “Where are you?” We scream. But really God is stepping back and giving us personal space because we can’t see things otherwise. This was the Torah we needed. 

It’s easier to create a relationship with a king who is travelling away from his palace in unofficial capacity, then when he is sitting on his throne. That is the golden opportunity of the three weeks. Perhaps summer is down time, but now without pressure and without anyone imposing, we have the ability on our own terms to uncover the Torah’s eternal connections to God that are now hidden from us, Amen.

Author: Yossi Katz

Yossi Katz currently lives in Lakewood, NJ where he runs the BRI American Office. He studied in Beth Medrash Gevoha, as well as the former Breslov Kollel of Lakewood headed by Rabbi Shlomo Goldman.

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