Consolation

I await the time,

when our sorrow shifts to joy;

with words of comfort.

Inasmuch that I am inclined by my pensive nature to perpetual reflection, if not melancholy, when the Hebrew month of Av arrives, I look forward to the demarcation between sorrow and joy on the fifteenth of the month, known as Tu b’Av. The month begins with solemn and intense mourning for the destruction of both the first and second Temples, culminating on Tish b’Av – the ninth of Av – the date on the Hebrew calendar when both Temples were actually destroyed, about 6oo years apart from each other. Yet, Tu b’Av is a day of joy, for almost inexplicable reasons; moreover, on the first Sabbath after Tish b’Av, we begin the readings from the prophets that have to do with consolation.

And, so, while the month recalls a world in turmoil, that brought down our sacred building, where the presence of G-d dwelt, we acknowledge that the Jewish people have always rebuilt after times of disruption. Chaos and order was the natural order of progression, beginning with the Creation, when order prevailed over chaos; at least, up until the time of mankind’s expulsion from Gan Eden, after the first act of disobedience towards G-d. Yet, all yearn to return to Him, even if that yearning expresses itself in pathways that sidetrack the route prescribed for return. A wake up call is sometimes necessary to jar ourselves, that we might be shaken out of our confines, to realign with the Divine.