Friday, July 16, 2010

If The Gates of Tears Are Never Locked, Why Is There A Gate?

My Shabbos bride, please forgive me, this week I'm thinking of you but you have competition. I am thinking more about approaching ninth of Av than of Shabbos.

The meraglim caused false tears on the eve of the ninth of Av, G-d said the date would be set for tears always (Taanis, 29a). The Artscroll Kinot suggests that the mitzvah of the day on Tisha B'av is to cry. They say that the Chasom Sofer would cry all day on every Tisha B'Av and dip his bread of the seudat hamafseket into his own tears.

On most days it is a mitzvah to be happy. On this one day, and to a lesser degree this time of year it is mitzvah to mourn. And when one truly mourns, one cries. Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch called tears sweat of the soul, a natural consequence of true soul feeling.

Maybe Shabbos is not so anomalous to these days. What they share is deep feeling. May we be blessed to feel deeply. Good Shabbos and may G-d Bless.

Veiled bride's approaching
as the sun magically sets
May we truly feel
My Temple lies in ruins
May we soon see her rebuilt


Blogger kishke said...

I think the idea is more that the gate is not locked to tears, even though that's not the literal translation.

July 18, 2010 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Yes, so why is there a gate? I've heard several answers. One is that the tears have to be a torrent to push the gate open. The other is that sometimes it's better we don't get what we cry for, so although it's not locked it's best the gate stay closed.

July 18, 2010 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger kishke said...

There is a gate. There are different ways to open it; e.g. tefillah, tzedaka, mitzvos, Torah. Sometimes it is locked and there's no way to open it. It's never locked before tears.

July 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM  

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