A Thought for 'The Three Weeks'

A Thought for 'The Three Weeks'

The ‘Three Weeks’, and Tisha B’Av in general, are challenging times.  They are meant to make us focus on difficult parts of our history so that we learn the appropriate lessons and do not forget them. 

How effective is this? The story is told that Napoleon was once driving past a synagogue in Paris and heard wailing from inside. He immediately ordered his driver to stop and another servant to find out what was going on.

The servant soon returned and reported that the Jews were mourning for the loss of their Temple.  Napoleon was bewildered.

‘Which Temple?’ he asked, “I have not heard about this.”

“The Temples in Jerusalem which were both destroyed hundreds and even thousands of years ago,” replied the servant.

Silence ensued until Napoleon declared, “any nation which can mourn and remember destruction for so long will surely one day return to its Land and rebuild its Temple.”

We live in the generation who are fortunate enough to be able to easily visit and even return to the Land, fulfilling Biblical visions and part of what Napoleon said.  We suppose our Tisha B’Av practices have worked, at least in part.

As the Biblical prophet Isaiah said, "One who mourns Jerusalem will merit to see her happiness” (Isaiah 66:10).  May we have that merit so that Tisha B’Av will turn into that day of happiness.