Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Mourning the Bais HaMikdash

I saw a mashal in "Achas Sha'alti" this morning that left me shaking.  Imagine an older couple who, after years of trying, are now expecting their first child.  Just before the child is due, the doctor comes to the parents with devastating news, "The child is in distress and is putting the mother's life at risk.  I can save one or the other, but not both."  The father doesn't know what to say, but the mother does.  "I have lived my life to produce this child and you must save him.  That will give my life meaning, and also my son will grow up to learn torah in my z'chus and say kaddish for me."  The child is born with medical issues, but alive.  The mother, as predicted, does not survive.  The father has to send the boy away to be raised in a proper environment while he works day and night to pay for the ongoing medical bills and care.  As the boy grows, he remains in poor health and even engages in behaviors that worsen his condition and increase the burden on his father.  The boy is not so interested in learning or davening.  He gets to shul late, davens as fast as possible, and on the mother's yahrtzeit mumbles his way through kaddish and then rushes out to play with his friends.  When the boy's caregiver (a close friend of the father) says something, the boy gets indignant.  "I know nothing of this mother you talk about!  Where has she been all my life?  Dead!  How am I supposed to care about a woman I never met?  And my father?  I barely know him and I don't really care that much.  I have my own life and concerns, they should be happy I remember her once a year at all."

"Ko amar HaShem: B'ni b'chori yisrael" -- Thus says HaShem, Yisrael is My precious only son. (Shmos 4:23, see Rashi there).  Because of our sins, the Bais HaMikdash was destroyed and the Sh'china was banished so that we could live.  Her yahrtzeit is coming.


Binyomin Adler said…

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…