Monday, July 16, 2007

And then it begins...

Today is Rosh Chodesh Av, the beginning of the nine days counting down to Tisha B'Av, often descibed as the saddest day in Jewish History where we fast (as we do on Yom Kippur) and read Lamentations. On this day, many horrible things happened to the Jewish nation, most notably the destruction of the First and Second Bais Hamikdashes, the Holy Temples in Jerusalem, the first one by the Babylonians and the second by the Romans. This is also the day Moshe broke the tablets when he came down Mount Sinai and saw the Jewish people worshiping the Golden Calf. To view more sad events click here. Since this is a period of sadness it is traditional during these nine days to abstain from certain things, for example, eating meat, laundrying clothes, and listening to music. To ensure that I would adhere to the last one, God decided to kill my iPod yesterday when my water bottle spilled in my softball bag. Even if I wanted to listen to my Dixie Chicks, I cannot.

All these horrible things happened to the Jewish people during this time in history, but you know what, things aren't that great nowadays either. I was reading the New York Times this morning on the train and its page after page of horror and anguish. Page 2, large earthquake hits Japan, 150 injured. Page 7, 24 Iranians escape from Iraqi prison. Page 7, suspects released in London after car bombing attempts. Page 8, suicide bombers in Pakistan kill 49. Page 11, John Edwards tours the most poverty-stricken places in America where he sees people living in squalor. Is there really nowhere in the world where we can feel perfectly safe and sound? This is how I interpret it: God is trying to tell us something. We must take advantage of these nine days. Do something, anything, to make this world a better place. I beseech you all to do a mitzvah no matter how small you think it is. Today I'm going to donate blood. 20 minutes of my time and I can potentially save a life. Ad Mosai? How much longer do we have to wait for the coming of Moshiach (the Messiah)? If we all work hard during these nine days, bettering ourselves and our relationships with those around us, we can potentially bring Moshiach. I sincerely believe that. And as my friend Gavriel's Facebook update states: Gavriel is "hoping Mashiach will come before Tisha b'Av so that we won't have to fast... and so that there will be World Peace. That too." Well said.

1 comment:

ZK said...

Is your ipod less than a year old? If so you can get a replacement for free, if not you are screwed. I'm hoping mine lasts until the new one comes out, or until the fancy shmancy cheaper Iphone comes out in the last quarter of 07 (that's the rumor.)