A Sacred Time – Av #2
Sometimes we can only see the good when it’s reflected through the lens of suffering. When we see the great spiritual desolation and yearn for light from within that darkness, we build vessels to see the positives and build on them. Sometimes we prefer to ignore the barren areas of our spiritual life, but how can we improve if we refuse to see the need for improvements?
The fast of the ninth of Av is an antidote for an unwillingness to face unpleasant realities. In addition to avoiding all food and drink, we observe many of the laws of mourning including sitting on a low place until midday. We recite lamentations and take a very honest deep look at ourselves, how special every soul is and how far we still are from our aspirations. We take a look at how much potential there is, and how much has gotten actualized.
At midday we begin to take comfort, though. Our sages say that during the afternoon of the ninth of Av, Moshiach is born. Reb Nosson, z”l, explains that this happens every year. Every year I take stock and perceive my distance. With one eye I see my potential, and with the other I see that, spiritually, I am still down in the dirt. The natural outcome of perceiving my greatness and how far I have to go is to pick myself up, dust off and change.
Dear G-d. Please help me have a positive ninth of Av. Show me how to avoid depression yet use this day’s bitterness to genuinely transform my life. Help me locate the treasure of my hidden depths and become who I am meant to be.
Dear Friends of Breslov,
These challenging days and especially the conflict in the Holy Land, are a reflection of our inner spiritual turmoil. They are a reminder that we are still living in darkness; our souls are still screaming out and anxiously waiting to be reconnected with their Creator.
But in as much as we each are facing this darkness, our soldiers in Eretz Yisrael are especially vulnerable. However, we have the ability to give them tremendous chizuk (encouragement) and a spiritual boost. For just $1 – we can send a spiritual protective edge to our brothers on the front lines. Please take the time to read their story and pass it on to a few friends who also want to make a spiritual difference. Our unity and love for each other, is our ultimate strength.
May we all have an easy and meaningful fast. May we know no more sadness, Amen!