This day is considered a day of mourning in the traditional Jewish community. We sit on the floor. Put ashes on our foreheads. We weep. We fast. We beat our breasts in repentance for our sins. Let this also be a time for renewal, a renewal in the eternal hope of the Jewish people. We are like the Phoenix that literally has arisen time and time again out of the ashes of the destroyed Temple and the crematoria. In spite of the degradations, the beatings, the tortures, the starvations, the deaths we have continued to say Ani Maamain, I believe in the coming of the Mashiach, I believe in days that are better than today when today can be so much better.
This is also an important lesson for the times we are now living in. It is so easy to be despondent. It is so easy to cry over and over again, “When, if ever, will things be back to normal.” Well, I am not really sure what normal is because change is a part of life, of every person’s life, but I have the faith, and I hope you do to, that this will end and we will be able to enjoy the life that God blesses us with every day. Do not, however, forget to also continue to bless and thank God for life even during this pandemic. It is a gift which might not always be wrapped so beautifully but it is still the gift of life to be cherished and to be grateful for always.