Jul 16, 2013

So, Is it a Meaningful Fast?

At some point in the past few decades, we went from wishing one another "an easy fast" to a "meaningful fast." Question is, do we want a fast altogether? Nobody does.  We want Moshiach.

I have noticed though, more people saying things like, "It should be a Yom Tov," or "I hope we don't have to fast this year."  That sounds better to me than wishing one another a meaningful fast.  Nobody wants the day to end and to think, "Moshiach didn't come, but at least the fast was meaningful." There is something that seems so "off" to me about seeking a meaningful Tisha B'Av experience, even though I will look for appropriate books and lectures and videos for Tisha B'Av which actually do make the day meaningful.

If Tisha B'Av was really meaningful for someone, how would you expect them to act the next day? the next week? As someone put it, sadness was the scheduled activity for the day, and the next day we're happy again. People who are, lo aleinu, in aveilus don't bounce back that way after shiva or shloshim (and certainly, no one wishes them a meaningful aveilus).  They don't return to normal life like nothing happened. The aveilus metaphor is more than a metaphor because the laws of the day stipulate that we do as mourners do.

If we can easily go back to swimming, music, meat and laundry, how did our getting "into" the Tisha B'Av "experience" differ from watching a sad movie and going through a box of tissues? How real is that? How superficial?

Can life go back to normal after chatzos, if we still don't have a Beis Ha'Mikdash? If it can, was something lacking in how Tisha B'Av was spent?

The goal of Yom Kippur is teshuva, the goal of Pesach is cheirus. The goal of Tisha B'Av is not meaningfulness.  It's to mourn what we lost, mourn where we're at as a result of our losses, and like every fast, to do teshuva so that we reverse the situation.  From mourning to celebration!

No comments:

Post a Comment