Leah’s Blog Rosh Chodesh Av
Chodesh Av 2022
We are opening the nine days, a time of mourning and destruction, a time we remember the selling of Yosef by his brothers, the sin of the spies that brought a bad report of Eretz Yisrael and of course the broken and ravaged Temples of Jerusalem, a time of great calamity. We remember Jerusalem of gold, the city that was conquered over forty times throughout history that has always been our crown. What can we see that remains of the kingdom of the Jewish people? Can we touch its walls? Can we unearth the legacy that once was? At this time that we are wedged between destruction and restoration, the ripeness of the hour of return calls us to consider and to act in accordance with the words of the prophets by determining who this land is tied to and who this Jerusalem belongs to. This land has suffered great neglect, uncultivated, unsowed and unploughed- it did not yield for any nation, desolate for two thousand years. No country could make it prosper. No government called it their country. There are no records of Prime ministers or even stamps to prove they ever existed. That was for a reason- Hashem had it exactly that way for this time. Now Israel has reappeared. Rebounding after extreme challenges, Jerusalem again breathes. The best response to our mourning is a call to action. Our Temples were destroyed thousands of years ago yet Israel has returned which makes the month of Av so special when you realize what a time to be alive in Israel, here and now. Different than reading about Yerushalayim from a book, now you can put your foot on it and feel the heat of its stones. You can feel the beating heart.
But there are pain points. Our resilience has been tested on a daily basis here now at this time. Skeptics doubt this miracle, (like the selling of Yosef whose brothers did not accept his dream), others come to claim it for their own. Israel suffers from rotten politics as well as capitulating and forfeiting its integrity in a critical way as the spies did before taking possession of the Land. When we grieve we assess. This is the ultimate time for perseverance, because the more the odds seem to be against restoration, the more encouraging people are coming together to form a network of pro action. Side by side, wherever you may be in the world- we are all striving to rectify mistakes made such as in the Oslo Accords and other placating acts of self- implosion. It will take a lot of self -confidence to return to our true selves and hard work to rectify these serious mistakes, but as we reveal the power we have- each and every one of us- Av will morph into a new time, Beezraht Hashem soon. In the heat, the breathing is bringing me to a de ja vu here as our House burned down and our people were sold as slaves and scattered. This memory has me convinced we are in miraculous times despite the grief we feel for now and then. These are dangerous times, disaster lurks at every corner because there is no governance as it was in the days of the books of Judges as every man judged for himself. The prophet came later as well as the king. We are not in full redemption yet. We strive to work towards it.
I see a season changing. First, the sun dazzles; heat rising, the air is hot and dry. In the field, figs are ripe and sweet now, the grapes are heavy, cascading over poles. The moon is closer now, a fixture familiar in the black sky as we walk off our grief; a night breeze comforting all the mourners of Zion. The month of Av is upon us, our virtue is in craving for her, remembering her. The earth seems scorched now as it was then on that place of Zion that stands as a mountain, a field, a house. Soon we will meet the King in the empty field, the wheat has all been harvested and there is no sign of anything growing- yet under the surface the dew of Ruach that waits patiently before its time is about to rise. Soon we will build a house- the house of Hashem- of one united family. – To Jerusalem your city- return in mercy- reside within it as You have promised- Rebuild it soon in our days as an everlasting building- and speedily establish within it- the throne of your servant David! Have compassion, Hashem our G-d, upon Israel, your people, upon Jerusalem your city, upon Zion, the resting place of Your glory, upon the kingdom of the house of David- your anointed, and upon the great and holy house!
Shabbat Shalom, Leah