Jeffrey Levine
Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Getting in touch with your soul on Tisha B’Av

In this blog, there are various insights and stories that can help you connect to Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av (Jul. 21-22, 2018), which is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, on which we fast, deprive ourselves and pray. It is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem

Our featured Video al eileh ani bochiya which is sung in Shuls on Tisha B’av.

Additional Teaching:

 Tisha b’Av: Begging G-d for intimacy

It is possible to do everything G-d wants you to do and not to be intimate with G-d. You know, beautiful friends, Mount Sinai is where G-d told us what to do. But Jerusalem, the Holy Temple, is where we are intimate with G-d. The Holy Temple is the headquarters for being close to G-d and to each other. But when the house is destroyed, there is no place to be intimate anymore. And gevalt! Are we longing and crying to be intimate with G-d, with every Jew, with every word of the Torah, and, one day, with the whole world…On Tisha b’Av the Messiah comes. On Tisha b’Av until the Six Million you only heard the sound of the destruction of the Temple; you could not hear the footsteps of the Messiah. Today, the voice of destruction gets further and further away, the voice of the coming of the Messiah gets closer and closer. Let it be this year that the whole world will be fixed and G-d’s holy intimacy comes back into the world and into our lives. You know, beautiful friends, I’m so proud of our moshav and our shul because they are filled with prayers, with so much dancing and joy, but also with so many tears begging G-d for intimacy with every word of the Torah with every Jew, with every human being, with all of nature. I have a feeling it will be this year. Reprinted from Cong Kehillat Jacob News 5752

Chazon – Seeing the future

I want to tell you something very very strong.

Chazon is always about seeing the future and here Tisha B’Av is to see the past, so someone asked me how does Shabbos Chazon fit in with Tisha B’Av? Strong question. So I answered like this. Everybody knows that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because people didn’t love each other. What does it mean to not love one another? It means I don’t see you, if I hate you I don’t see you, simple as it is!

So listen to this, everybody knows that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed on a Saturday night. On the very last Shabbos they were there, they knew the Beis Hamikdash has just a few more minutes to be standing. Can you imagine with how much love the people met each other in the Beis Hamikdash that last Saturday night? People who hated each other their whole lives, people who spit at each other, can you imagine the way they saw each other that last Shabbos?

So every Shabbos Chazon the holiest thing happens to us yidden. The Ribbono Shel Olam is showing us every Jew who ever lived from Avraham Avinu until Mashiach is coming. He is showing us every yidele and whatever happens to them.

This is the Chazon.

The Third Temple: A Vision of Peace and Unity

There is an old Chassidisher Yiddish tune that says, “Master of the world, I know that the Third Temple is not built with stones; it’s built with tears. So if all you need is just one more tear, please let it be my tear. I heard from a soldier, one of those holy of holiest soldiers who conquered the Holy Wall, that he had a dream at night that all this was all just a nightmare, we never left the Holy Land, the Holy Temple was never destroyed. Suddenly, he thought to himself, maybe the Levites are still singing in the Holy Temple. Maybe all of Israel is still there dancing in the courtyard of the Holy Temple. He ran out from his house and ran over hills and over mountains until he reached the hills of Jerusalem and yes, it was true, the Holy Temple was still there, all of Israel was still dancing and the singing of the Levites was sweeter and deeper than Paradise. He could not believe such a thing existed in the world — and then he woke up. When G-d will rebuild the Third Temple then we shall know that the Exile was just a bad dream. All the pain, all the suffering never really existed — the Six Million never died — the Holy Temple was always there. Let it be tonight, that instead of dreaming, let’s wake up and find the Holy Temple. Let’s meet at this place on the hills of Jerusalem where the holy soldier heard the singing of the Levites. Let’s meet the whole world on that hill.  Connections Magazine Menachem Av, 5748

Comforting the One Who is Crying

In 1963, I had the privilege of being with the Holy Vizhnitzer Rebbe in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Tisha b’Av. And there was a Yiddele there who started chanting Eichah, (the Book of Lamentations) but he was crying so much that he made the reading very long.

So the Vizhnitzer said, “Please make it fast”. The Yiddele didn’t make it fast, so the Rebbe gave Eichah to somebody else to read.

At the end of Eichah, everybody was standing around the Holy Vizhnitzer. And the Rebbe said, “I want you to know, my holy father, the heilige Reb Yisrael Vizhnitzer, was up all night on Tisha b’Av. And he had some Yidden with him who knew some niggunim, some melodies, which were not so sad and not really happy but were in-between – they were holy niggunim for Eichah. My father and his Chassidim were up all night singing Eichah – but not with the traditional melody, with other niggunim.”

I didn’t understand why the Rebbe told us this until I found a mind-blowing teaching by the Radomsker Rebbe. He said like this:

“When a son is crying, a good father consoles his son. What happens when both the father and the son are crying? If the son is a good son, then for a few moments he forgets his own pain and tries to console his father.”

On Tisha b’Av, we are sad because of what happened to the Temple, which really means that on Tisha b’Av, we start becoming sad because of what happened to ourselves.

But it is even worse.

The truth is, on Tisha b’Av night we are crying – and G-d is crying as well. The Radomsker says that real people forget for a moment their own pain, and they mamesh pretend to be happy – for just a few minutes – in order to make it easier on their Father in Heaven. Because the destruction was hardest on Him. If only we felt God’s pain.

Ki Va Mo’ed: When the Time Comes 

On Simchas Torah we say in the davening, – HaShem hoshiya, hamelech ya’aneinu b’yom koreinu – “HaShem, answer us the same day.”

It would’t be so terrible if God answered the next day. I want you to know something so deep: sometimes you have an awakening in your heart, and you want so much to do something good, but at that time, on that day, it doesn’t work. Sadly enough, the next morning you wake up and you don’t want it anymore.

I have seen so many young people who mamash wanted to be on fire, or wanted to go to a Yeshiva or to maybe go to Yerushalayim, wanting to do something for the whole world, but on that day, it was impossible. The next day came and their luck turned.

So, “Master of the World, if You answer me, I am begging you, answer me the same day.” I can assure you too, I have seen thousands, thousands, who could have been the highest yidden in the world.

Okay, this is the story. I had the privilege of hearing this story from the holy Modzhitzer Rebbe, zt“l. Of all the Rebbes, he was a Rebbe for the longest time. Finally, he came to Tel Aviv and he passed away. A Rebbe doesn’t pass away; it means he’s not visible in this world any more. He became Rebbe when he was 17 years old, and I think he passed away when he was 92 or 93. He came to New York, nebach he was sick, and it was too much for him. He wanted to have a little farbrengen Friday night. I had the privilege of being there that Friday night. Right after the davening, this is how he told the story. He said, “I heard this from my father, who heard it from his father, who heard it from his heiligeh Tateh‘s heiligeh Tateh, Rebbe Yisroel. Rebbe Yisroel heard it from his Tateh, the heiligeh Rav Yankev, who heard it from his father, the heiligeh Rhizhyner.”

In the year 1490 there was a big gathering of all the congregations of all the yidden in Spain, near Barcelona. You know, the yidden were at the peak – since the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, yidden hadn’t had it so good. They all had the biggest positions in the government, and they were all rich, so they where talking to each other, asking, “What can we do to make yiddishkeit stronger?”

So one of them said, “You know how rich we are? We are so rich! Let’s send a message to Istanbul that we want to buy the land of Israel back from the Turks. Of course, whatever price they want, we will pay, and we will build the Beis Hamikdash! We’ll go back!! We’ll return to the Holy Land!”

After he said that, there was so much simcha! Gevaldt, they were going to build the Beis Hamikdash again. Do you know what they did? First of all they appointed three outstanding people. In those days, to go from Spain to Istanbul and back would take a year. They decided that those three people would go talk to the Pasha in Turkey, and they gave them a year to come back. In the meantime, they decided, they would mamash opened new yeshivas for Kohanim to learn Kedoshim, for Levi’im to study music, and their simcha was up to the high heavens, ad hashamayim. Then they decided that the next year, on Rosh Chodesh Elul in the year 1491, they will all meet again.

The time came for the simcha, every body came, all the Kohanim knew the laws of Zevachim – sacrifices, the Leviim knew b’shira v’zimra. So they all get together, the door opens, and the three delegates come in. “We got a great price! We are buying the Holy Land!” Pssssshh! Not to be believed! The simcha was gevaldt. Suddenly a yid gets up and he says, “Who gave us the right to buy the holy land? The Ribono shel Olam drove us out from the holy land, so we don’t have the right to go back unless we have a sign from heaven! So the people said to him, “Are you crazy or what? Do you need a bigger sign? We have the money! The Pasha wants to sell it to us, and we want to go!”

So, sadly enough, do you know what poison is? There were already two parties, one said, “White,” and one said, “No! That’s red!”

They decided to wait another year, until Rosh Chodesh Elul, 1492, and everybody knows that on Tisha b‘Av that year they where driven out of Spain. Do you know what the problem is? Ki Va Moed. When the time comes, Don’t wait, Don’t wait… JANUARY 17, 1960 BY RABBI SHLOMO CARLEBACH Transcribed by Benyomin (Benjie) Steinberg, Tel Aviv

Want more inspiration – other Sites dedicated to Reb Shlomo are:

About the Author
Jeffrey is a Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist (we can only dream) living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather who has five kids and six grandchildren. Jeffrey is promoting a vision for a better and fairer world and amongst his activities, he is the CFO at who are bring the Israel Agro model to developing countries.
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