Can you remember the questions you asked as a child?
Do you still have those same questions?
Are you still looking for answers? Or have you given up?
In 1956 the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in a letter to Yitzchak ben Tzvi, the then President of Israel, shared the questions he had as a child in a most intimate way.
The Rebbe wrote, “From the day I went to cheder [primary school] and even before, the image of the final Redemption started to form in my mind. The Redemption of the Jews from their very last exile. A Redemption in such a way that through it we will understand the sufferings of exile, the decrees and the destruction. And all will be in a way that with a complete heart and full understanding, it will be said on that day, “Thank you G-d for chastising me”!
In a way, it is this question which encapsulates all questions that we as a people have asked since the beginning of time. Indeed it is this same question that we asked as children from our parents and one which our children no doubt will one day ask us. Why all the pain and suffering over so many years? Why the continued hate and destruction?
The day which is synonymous with Jewish tragedy throughout the ages is *Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of the month of Av. It is on this day we commemorate the destruction of both the first and second Temples as well as many other tragic events throughout the ages.
The Rebbe once asked a most piecing question: How could G-d allow the destruction of both Temples when He himself has instructed his people never to destroy a house of worship? Surely G-d would not override his very own edict.
The Rebbe’s answer is most insightful and inspirational. In Jewish law there is one exception when one is allowed to destroy a synagogue. This is in order to build an even greater structure. Indeed in such circumstances the demolition itself is part of the process of the rebuilding.
This is the perspective which has inspired Jewish hope and courage during the most challenging times. It is our ability to see and experience the growing seeds of even greater opportunity within the destruction. This has made the Jewish people unique in the annals of history.
A world where mankind will finally come to the realisation that each and every one on this planet has much more to gain when we are united than when we are divided.
Deep down the child within us believes that one day soon the world will be a better place. A world where there will be no more war or bloodshed, nor hate nor envy. Where people will fight no more.
A world where the questions we had as children will be questions no more.
*Tisha B'Av, this year falls on Saturday however the fast is postponed to Sunday. The fast begins Saturday at sunset (9:05pm) until nightfall on Sunday (9:47pm)