Shabbat of the Vision
People say life starts simply. After that, it becomes more complex. What is the point at which we must rediscover a more profound simplicity?
Everyone of us has experienced this trend on a regular basis. The days when we were young and innocent. By the time we enter adolescence and adulthood, we begin to lose this innocence. Life becomes more complicated as time goes on. For the rest of our lives, it's a matter of rediscovering that lost innocence.
As Jews, we have followed a similar road. We started our journey from Egypt in the direction of the Promised Land. On the verge of entering the land, we lost our sense of direction, we made life complicated. As a result, we wondered and drifted through the desert for forty years. Eventually, reachithe ng the land of Israel.
We repeated this pattern leading up to and during both the first and second temple period. Things started out simple, the people were pure and innocent, the temples were built. The Jewish people experienced extraordinary peace and prosperity through these periods. Eventually, they veered from the path, resulting in the destruction of both temples and the exile of the Jewish people from their land.
In a stunning "coincidence" the date for all these events are the same: The 9th day Of Av. What's even more striking is that, had not the spies discouraged the Jewish people on that fateful night, this tragic day would have been one of the greatest days in the Jewish Callander, celebrating the arrival of the Jewish people into the promised land.
And here lies a remarkable insight into the turn of events throughout Jewish history. The moments of potential greatest triumph can be converted into the greatest tragedies and vice versa. It all depends on the choices we make. We can decide the outcome.
This Shabbat is known as the "Shabbat of the vision". Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev explains that on this day, every one of us is granted a glimpse of the third temple. A vision that, "though we do not ourselves see, our souls see".
It is this vision that marks the beginning of our rediscovery of that lost purity and innocence.