A Day’s Deferral

A Sacred Time
Av 2

The Ninth of Av is the harshest day of the Jewish calendar. But, this year, the fast falls out on Shabbat, and that makes a very big difference.

On Shabbat we’re not permitted to fast, mourn, or fall into sadness. Shabbat is a day for experiencing a deep inner joy that is rooted in the world to come. Shabbat is the spiritual high point of every week, a day of liberation from our material concerns.

Shabbat and Tisha b’Av do have something in common, though; both are days when we yearn for G-d and spirituality. On Tisha b’Av, our yearning is powered by a recognition of how far we are. We literally sit low down in or near the dust, to feel our distance from heaven. On Shabbat, we feel G-d’s closeness and yearn to hold it with us throughout the rest of the week.

This year, though, the actual ninth of Av is going to arrive on Shabbat—the day itself will be its usual celebration. And when we fast on Sunday, a lot of the harshness of the fast is tempered because it’s not being observed on the “hard day.” So, this year, the fast is a time to focus on G-d’s deep and infinite love for the Jewish people. Despite the destruction of our Sanctuary, we are still the apple of our Creator’s eye. Our mourning stems from hope that this love-bond will become fully manifest.

As Rebbe Nachman declared: “If you believe you can destroy, believe you can repair!”

Author: Yehudis Golshevsky

Yehudis in her own words: When I first began learning Rebbe Nachman’s teachings with my husband and other teachers, I felt as though I had come home to the personal and vital relationship with G-d that I’d always sought. Today, a large part of my inspiration comes from helping other Jewish women discover their own spiritual potential through the meaningful teachings of Breslov Chassidut. Yehudis Golshevsky has been teaching Torah classes to women and working in Torah publishing for nearly twenty years. She’s a graduate of Yavne Teacher’s Seminary in Cleveland and holds a degree in Judaic Studies from SUNY at Buffalo. Currently, Yehudis is a contributor to Breslov.org and “Pathways”, the Breslov Research Institute’s weekly publication. Since 2006, she’s been taking women’s groups to Uman and other sites in Ukraine for prayer and study. Yehudis lives with her family in Jerusalem.

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