Bad Times – Opportunities for Correction
Today is the 9th of Av according to the Hebrew calendar. On this day, the First and Second Temples were ruined and the people of Israel were exiled from their land. It happened centuries apart, but on the exact same day of the year. On the physical level, there are days that are prone to trouble. The three weeks before the 9th of Av are such days, and especially the 9th of Av itself. However, on the spiritual level, there are no bad days. Every day is an opportunity for correction, and bad days are actually the best opportunities.
Both temples were ruined because of Israel’s hatred for each other. In the First Temple, it manifested itself in bloodshed and slander. In the Second Temple, the hatred became so intense that it needed no reason or reasoning whatsoever. This is why it was called “unfounded hatred.” That hatred, the worst of all hatreds, destroys everything, just as it did to the children of Israel at that time. Because they were consumed by such hatred, they lost the city of Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and were scattered throughout the world for two millennia.
Healing this hatred is the spiritual work we have to do. Every day is an opportunity to heal the hatred in our hearts and turn it into love of others. But days when we remember the horrific consequences of our hatred for each other should give us an extra drive to cure ourselves from that plague. This is why kabbalists do not regard such days as bad days, but as opportunities for correction.
If we treat such days as invitations to correct our hatred and increase the love between us, we will do ourselves and the world a great service, since hatred is the cause of all our troubles. If we heal it between us, it will be healed all around us.