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: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…