Jeffrey Levine
Jeffrey Levine
Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Let’s Sing Hallel on Tisha B’Av

Yes, that is a strange Headline.

Let’s face we are happy with the status quo. We have a rebuilt Jerusalem. Our fellows Jews are happy living outside the Land that God has given us.

  • Do we really want to go back to Sacrifices?
  • What do we mean when we say Mashiach or Geula or Redemption?
  • Do we want world peace, a better world for everybody?
  • Do we really need a 3rd Temple to do this?

Why all the fuss over a little hill. This comes from me – somebody who lives in Jerusalem with a view of that Hill – The old City and the Temple Mount. For the basic reason it is Jerusalem for that is bedrock of our faith.

Now our cousins, yes, our cousins or even our brothers the Arabs and the Christians want to deny our connection and right to Jerusalem. In fact, some of them want us dead. (Not all – I am amazed by how much peace and co-existence exists.)

Reams of Blogs could not full all the virtual blog pages of the hate and evil – both historical and current. I originally thought to share some of the historical and current lies and facts being spewed out in our press and social media. I will leave that to people more capable than me.

So, how did I come up with the idea of singing Hallel on Tisha B’Av?

On one of my what’s App Group which is called Space of Love and Prayer, up popped a beautiful rendition of Hallel.

That got me thinking about the good things about Jerusalem and the modern state of Israel.

For inspiration and preparation for Tisha B’Av, I am re-reading the Soul of Jerusalem – teachings by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach edited by modern-day soul doctor Rabbi Shlomo Katz.

As is my practice during this period, I randomly opened the book and this popped up.

“Some people have a tendency to look down. They look down at others. They look down at themselves, and they even look down at G-d.

Everything is down, but Shamayim is Heaven, and we need to look up. We need to connect and see the beauty of people, Life, Shabbat and Jerusalem.”

Let us take some inspiration from Kintsugi – Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.

Kintsugi is the general concept of highlighting or emphasizing imperfections, visualizing mends and seams as an additive or an area to celebrate or focus on. To recognise the beauty in our flaws, the flaws in Life and the brokenness and imperfections of this world.

We think when something (somebody) is broken it is of less value. What if see our flaws, mistakes and brokenness as an opportunity. See this as beautiful. Let’s hold our mistakes as beautiful and opportunity for growth.

Indeed, on Tish B’Av, we acknowledge the pain and suffering over the last 2000 years of Jewish history and our incomplete state. But rather than focus on the incompleteness, let us embrace the brokenness, the end result is that may we privileged to see the glory and beauty and impact of Jerusalem.

May Hashem grant us the ability to:

  • Approach Brokenness with reverence
  • Mistakes with forgiveness
  • Frustration with patience

(adapted from the Daily Calm)

We need not to focus on all the negativity. Yes, we all are carrying our Pecklach, there is a lot not perfect in this world, but let’s be grateful and have gratitude and sing to Hashem.

I read a beautiful little snippet of wisdom from Reb Shlomo which was shared by Bracha Din who grew up in the ’60s.

Who needed drugs? We had Shlomo . . . the singing strumming storytelling Rabbi.

A song will take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Shlomo would say why are the birds always singing?

because they are always flying . . . why are they always flying?

Because they are always singing.  So, let’s sing!

We would sing into oblivion. I forgot I was an orphan. A hippy orphan . . . born to be free.

There is a holy teaching that the soul goes up on song.

Photos – used with permission and sourced from Facebook.


Waiting for Mashiach– Think Again- A New Reflection and an Opportunity

As shared by Moshe Rothkopf

Galus is a state of mind. Once at a Tish by the rebbe Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk in  Tiberias, someone exclaimed”. I feel like Moshiach has come”. The Rebbe went to the window and stuck his head out, took a deep breath and announced, “Unfortunately not yet”. Someone asked “Rebbe, if you’re such a big rebbe, why’d you have to get up and stick your head out to tell us that, why couldn’t you tell us from your seat?”  He answered” Because here in the room Moshiach has already come, I needed to see if he came to the rest of the world also.”

When we take the Torah with us, we take the Author with us, we are never alone, never abandoned. כי ידר נדר לה׳

When I make myself into a דירה that Hashem can dwell within me, then I am giving Hashem a Home in this world.

As an aside, people ask me what’s the secret to my coming in and out of Israel all during Corona.

Simple, I say. Make Aliya!

Can you imagine the King arrived for huge gathering and no one is there!  Why? Because we were waiting for the King to get there, then we’ll come. What a chutzpah, what disrespect!  I need to be at the Hall awaiting the King, not the other way around!

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 four grandchildren. Jeffrey provides Financial Services for regulated Financial Companies - CFO, Key Individual, Approved Person through and is a promoter of ideas and trends where Innovation meets ESG. He is looking to spread the message of Ahavat Yisrael and Jewish Unity through the music and stories through and blogging.
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