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The Power of Jewish Memory and Jewish Experience: Reflections on Tisha B’av 2018

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Jul 22, 2018

Venue: Cong. Keter Torah (Teaneck, NJ) Cong. Keter Torah (Teaneck, NJ)


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  1. Title: T B'Av
    Author: zev wrotslavsky ,

    Thank you for your presentation this year. As always it made the day much more meaningful. I was also at your discussion on the propriety of our continuing to say "Nacheim" given in Yerushalyim last December. Thank you for that also.We met briefly when I caught up with you after davening at Rinat one spring Sunday last year. We discussed the Yavetz' Mitpachat Seforim, why before and after the 300 questions he persists in calling the Zohar the sefer hakodesh. We also spoke briefly about the Arizal. You suggested that I read Lawrence Fine's biography. I did so, and continued to study both academic and rabbinic sources of kabbalah and particularly the Lurianic innovations.What I discovered, I believe, has particular relevance to T b'Av. Before the Arizal kabbalah was not a "popular" belief. It was mostly studied and written about by small groups (kabals) meeting secretly to discuss mystical speculations. The Arizal's thinking, in contrast, became very popular very quickly. Klal Yisroel was in a state of depression after Geirush Sfarad. Along comes the Arizal and tells the yidden that the reason why we are in galus is so that we can repair the world by picking up "Nitzuzis" that were scatted by the breaking of the keilim during briyat haolam. This idea picked up the emotions of the klal and gave meaning to their lives and disbursement. Never mind that it was theologically problematic (Hashem didn't know how to create nonbreakable keilim?) if felt right to the Jewish masses. I think this may be why Yaavetz was hesitant to throw out the entire Zohar and stick with the older kabbalah.The Arizal's ideas were continued in a fashion by the early chassidic masters:המגיד הגדול ממזריץ' בזמן הזה בזמן הגלות הוא בקל להשיג רוח הקודש יותר מבזמן הבית. כמשל למלך כשהוא בבית מלכותו אי אפשר להתקרב אליו כל כך כמו שהוא בדרך. שאז יוכל להתקרב אליו כל מי שירצה, אפילו בן כפר שאינו הגון לבא לפני המלך בבית מלכותו, ובדרך בפונדק שלו יכול לבוא לפניו ולדבר עמו. כך היום בגלות כשהאדם מחשב בדביקות השם יתברך ברוך הוא אזי מיד שורה עמו ושוכן אצלו. מגיד דבריו ליעקב, ס‘ מ“ט:ר' צבי אלימלך מדונוב – "בני יששכר"אמרו רבינו זכרונם לברכה "כל מי שלא נבנה בית המקדש בימיו כאילו נחרב בימיו". יש לפרש דהנה אמרו רז”ל ביום שחרב בית המקדש שנמחל להם על אוונותיהם, והשם יתברך שפך את חמתו על עצים ואבנים כדי שיתקיימו ישראל. ויש לפרש כל מי שלא נבנה בית המקדש בימיו הוה כאילו נחרב בימיו ומהראוי שימחול לו הקדוש ברוך הוא עוונותיו. בני יששכר, חודש אב:The problem with the Ari and the Magid and Bnai Yisoschor is, of course, they are saying that the galus is not so bad. We have to collect sparks, we have ruach hakodesh everywhere, we have kapparah all the time with out the Bais Hamikdosh. In the Geulah-galus dialectic, the less you are mitabel for the galus, the less you appreciate the hatchala of the Geulah, or eretz yisroel. I am afraid that this thinking may be behind some of the lack of enthusiasm for Medinat and Eretz yisroel among certain chassidish and yeshivish groups. Is it time to reverse this chiddush of the Ari ?As to your thesis that there is no problem with continuing to say Nacheim, as the Rav held an expansive view of the boundaries of Har Habays. While a nice piece of lamdus, I do not find it an adequate reason for us to be kofer tov for the beautiful Yerushalayim we have to day. Bizuya v' chareiva? Thank you againZev WrotslavskySouthfield Michigan

Learning on the Marcos and Adina Katz YUTorah site is sponsored today by Alan and Fran Broder for the yahrtzeit of their great-grandfather, Zecharia Menachem Mendel ben Yaakov Shalom Broder, z'l and by Barry and Marcia Levinson in honor of Rabbi Eliron & Devorah Levinson and their children, and Rabbi Aviyam & Rina Levinson and their children and by Nicole and Aryeh Berman in honor of their amazing parents and grandparents and by Rochelle and Avi Schneider and family in memory of Edith Cooper, Yehudit bat Yitchak Halevi on her yahrzheit