Fast Day of Gedalia – Mourning Leaving Israel (part 4 of 4)

The Ten Days of Teshuva – Sefiros

The Ten Days of Teshuva are parallel to the ten Sefiros in reverse (Zohar).

מלכות (ראש השנה 1),

יסוד (ראש השנה 2),

הוד (צום גדליה 3),  נצח 4,

תפארת 5,

גבורה 6, חסד 7,

בינה 8 ,חכמה 9,

כתר 10 (יום כיפורים)

Tzom Gedalia falls out on the sefira day of Hod הוד . When Jews are living in Eretz Yisrael we perform a Tikun of Hod, as was done on the Holiday of Chanuka when the rededicated Beis HaMidash was considered הוד והדר.

When Jews are in Chutz LaAretz, it’s a corruption of Hod (beauty). The word Hod “beauty”הוד is distorted and rearranged to spell “Daveh” (sickness) דוה (same letters).

איכה א:יג

מִמָּר֛וֹם שָֽׁלַח אֵ֥שׁ בְּעַצְמֹתַ֖י וַיִּרְדֶּ֑נָּה פָּרַ֨שׂ רֶ֤שֶׁת לְרַגְלַי֙ הֱשִׁיבַ֣נִי אָח֔וֹר נְתָנַ֨נִי֙ שֹֽׁמֵמָ֔ה כָּל הַיּ֖וֹם דָּוָֽה:

From above He has hurled fire into my bones, and it broke them; He has spread a net for my feet, He has turned me back, He has made me desolate [and] sick all day long (Eicha 1:13).

The holy “beautiful” הוד Jew of Israel, becomes corrupted into דוה when he is in Chutz LaAretz. This day has the potential to enable the building the Beis Hamikdash which is Hod. This is reflected in the statement of Chazal that whoever does not build the Beis Hamikdash is if he destroyed it.

Therefore, specifically this day Tzom Gedalia, the 3rd of Tishrei we are mourning the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash. This day is דוה . The name גדליהו rearranged spells   גדול י-ה , G-d is great. This is a day for potential greatness and can be used properly to reverse the sadness and destruction.

This Fast Day of Gedalia reminds us that it is a Chilul Hashem that Jews are living in Chutz LaAretz; this physical Galus was initiated with the murder of Gedalya by Yishmael ben Nentaya.

The misery of Jews living in the Diaspora and the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash is a central theme of the Ten Days of Teshuva. We are remained of this twice daily in the prayer of Ledavid (Tehillim #27). We pray to dwell in the “House of G-d” שבתי בבית ה . This is a prayer for us to be involved in the actual building of the Beis Hamikdash in Eretz Yisrael.

 

The Shofar – Sound of Coming Home

During Rosh Hashanah we heard the sound of the shofar , which is a simple musical prayer to inspire us to have the desire to go return to Eretz Yisrael.

מחזור, מוסף ראש השנה

תקע בשופר גדול לחרותינו והביאנו לציון עירך ברינה, ולירושלים עיר מקדשך בשמחת עולם.

Sound the great shofar of our redemption, and bring us to Zion [Israel] your city with joy, and to Yerushalayim the city of your Beis Hamikdash, with ever lasting joy (Musaf Rosh Hashanah)

Some hear the sound of the Shofar and listen; others do not. After two days of Rosh Hashanah prayers, do we run home to G-d in Eretz Yisrael? Do we rush to build the Beis Hamikdash? Unfortunately the answer every year is, No! So we must fast and commemorate Tzom Gedalia. When we appreciate the true pure message of the shofar, then we will be worthy of worshiping G-d in Yerushalayim.

ישיעהו כז:יג

וְהָיָ֣ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יִתָּקַע֘ בְּשׁוֹפָ֣ר גָּדוֹל֒ וּבָ֗אוּ הָאֹֽבְדִים֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ אַשּׁ֔וּר וְהַנִּדָּחִ֖ים בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲו֧וּ לַֽהָֹ’ בְּהַ֥ר הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:

And it shall come to pass on that day, that a great shofar shall be sounded, and those lost in the land of Assyria and those exiled in the land of Egypt shall come and they shall prostrate themselves before Hashem on the holy mountain in Yerushalayim (Yeshayahu 27:13).

 

The cry of the shofar is described as a wailing “”יבבה. This is to remind us that mother Rachel is crying for us to return home to EretzYisrael . רחל מבכה על בניה We read these words exactly in the Haftarah of Rosh Hashanah. The Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah is about the story of Sarah’s slave Hagar, he cried over her ill son Yishmael. She was later told my and Angel that Yishamel will survive, however, he and his decendants (the Arabs) will be a wild animal of a man .פרא אדם Just because of her crying to G-d, her descendants merited to be a great nation גוי גדול אשימנו . How much more so, the children of Rachel our mother, will one day inherit our portion close to Hashem in Eretz Yisrael.

The Teshuva of Tzom Gedalia, is to bring the Jewish nation “children” home to their mother and to their Father . As we read in the Rosh Hashanah Haftorah הבן יקיר לי אפרים and ושבו בנים לגבולם – the Jews return to Eretz Yisrael.

          ירמיהו לא: טז

וְיֵשׁ תִּקְוָ֥ה לְאַֽחֲרִיתֵ֖ךְ נְאֻם ה וְשָׁ֥בוּ בָנִ֖ים לִגְבוּלָֽם:

And there is hope for your future, says Hashem, and the children shall return to their own border (Yirmiyahu 31:16).

On Rosh Hashanah, Rachel weeps for her children. They will return from outside The Land. The day after Rosh Hashana, Tzom Gedalia, start the ten day process of “returning”. This is the time to return, come home to Israel.

ירמיהו לא: יד

כֹּ֣ה  אָמַ֣ר ה ק֣וֹל בְּרָמָ֚ה נִשְׁמָע֙ נְהִי֙ בְּכִ֣י תַמְרוּרִ֔ים רָחֵ֖ל מְבַכָּ֣ה עַל בָּנֶי֑הָ מֵֽאֲנָ֛ה לְהִנָּחֵ֥ם עַל בָּנֶ֖יהָ כִּ֥י אֵינֶֽנּוּ:

So says Hashem: A voice is heard on high, lamentation, bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, she refuses to be comforted for her children for they are not with her (Yirmiyahu 31:14).

By this story of Gedalya is the first time in the Torah that Jews are called “Yehudim” or Jews. This is because they returned to the land of Yehuda. “Jew” is a galus title.

ירמיהו מ:יב

וַיָּשֻׁ֣בוּ כָל הַיְּהוּדִ֗ים מִכָּל הַמְּקֹמוֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִדְּחוּ שָׁ֔ם וַיָּבֹ֧אוּ אֶֽרֶץ יְהוּדָ֛ה אֶל גְּדַלְיָ֖הוּ הַמִּצְפָּ֑תָה וַיַּֽאַסְפ֛וּ יַ֥יִן וָקַ֖יִץ הַרְבֵּ֥ה מְאֹֽד.

And all the “Jews” returned from all the places they had been driven, and they came to the land of Yehuydah to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and they gathered very much wine and dried figs (Yirmiyahu 40:12).

Let us all return to Eretz Yisrael as Jews, to the Land of Yedudah. But once we are here we then begin to full our destiny that started with our father Yakov and we then become Yisraelim or Israeli. Here in Israel we can all recognize our one and true G-d.

שמע ישראל ה אלקינו ה אחד

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA , made aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. He is also a active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Currently practicing in Laniado Hospital in Netanya; speciaizing in the surgical care of all problems of the colon, rectum and anus.
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