web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Coming Light


What’s so important about the Fifteenth of Av? It’s a day like any other day, right?

Our sages tell us that on that day, some 3,300 years ago, in the Moabite Desert opposite Jericho, a miracle occurred. After the incident of the spies, God told our ancestors that the generation that had left Egypt would not enter the Land of Israel. Instead, their children would inherit the Land.

In this wilderness shall your carcasses drop…. Your young children of whom you said they will be taken captive, I shall bring them; they shall know the Land that you have despised…. Your children will roam in the Wilderness for forty years and bear your guilt…. [Numbers 14:29-33]

And so, every Tisha B’Av, on the anniversary of their sin, the men of Israel would dig their own graves and lie down in them. The next morning, 15,000 of those men would fail to arise. This continued every year, until 585,000 men of that generation had died in the wilderness. The next year, the fortieth year, the last 15,000 men would presumably leave this world and complete the death of that entire generation, which had numbered 600,000 males.

But the following Tisha B’Av, all the men who slept in their graves awoke. Perhaps they had miscalculated the day. So the next night they slept once again in their graves. In the morning they were still alive. This continued until Tu B’Av, the fifteenth day of the month. When they saw the full moon, they knew that Tisha B’Av had indeed passed and the decree of death had been rescinded.

Tu B’Av became a day of great rejoicing for them and their descendants. The full moon during the month of Menachem Av seems to signify the moment of our redemption.

What does all this mean for us, some three thousand years later?

We, the Children of Israel, have been marching seemingly endless years in the desert of Exile. We feel we should have arrived at the promised land of our eternal inheritance millennia ago, but the long travail continues. As we say (Shemoneh Esrei for Yom Tov): “Because of our sins, we have been exiled from our land and sent far from our soil. We cannot ascend to appear and to prostrate ourselves before You and to perform our obligations in the…great and holy House upon which Your Name was proclaimed because of the hand that was dispatched against Your Sanctuary.”

It seems that the decree of exile and death is eternal. We feel our 2,000-year march through the “howling wilderness” will never end. We despair. We become cynical and hopeless. We wonder whether we should adopt the customs of the nations among whom we live, God forbid, because we feel the decree against us will never be rescinded.

And then, one night, the full moon arises.

It is interesting that only when it is full does the moon rise at the precise moment the sun sets. In other words, on that night it is never dark.

May it be Your will, my God and the God of my fathers, to fill the flaw of the moon that there be no diminution in it. May the light of the moon be like the light of the sun and like the light of the seven days of creation, as it was before it was diminished, as it is said, “The two great luminaries.” And may there be fulfilled upon us the verse that is written, “They shall seek … their God and Dovid their king. Amen.” [Kiddush Levana]

On the Fifteenth of Av in the Moabite Desert, the clear, white glow of the full moon lifted the hearts of the Children of Israel. The next morning they arose; the decree of death had been lifted.

Ma’ase avos siman l’banim – the deeds of the fathers are signs for the children.

So it will surely be for us.

K’heref ayin, one day soon, in the twinkling of an eye, our decree of Exile will suddenly be lifted. The crushing weight of two thousand years will vanish and the entire world will be filled with a new light. The Exile we felt would never end will dissipate like a puff of steam.

About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, "2020 Vision" (Feldheim), is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Russian with a Georgian edition in preparation. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul" (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, Georgian edition in preparation) and "Worldstorm." Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com. Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Coming Light”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
UNRWA bags once had wheat -- Hamas now uses them to hide evidence of digging. Where did they get them ... Friends of the IDF photo - FB
Netanyahu Regrets Gaza Casualties, But Operation Continues
Latest Indepth Stories
UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay is calling for an investigation of Israel's military actions in Gaza. (archive photo)

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

Rabbi Meir Kahane at the National Press Club ~ 1985

Rabbi Kahane spoke of transfer, because it was what the Torah spoke of.

Hamas terrorists in Gaza have been using human shields to protect them from the IDF as they launch rocket attacks against Israel.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Jews inside Paris synagogue surrounded by protesters throwing rocks, holding bats and chairs.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.

It is up to our government to ensure that their sacrifices were not made for short-term gains.

Supporting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has become dangerous in Malmo.

More Articles from Roy S. Neuberger

Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?

Front-Page-031414

The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.

At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.

“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.

They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.

Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.

At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.

So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:

“In those days, when King Achashveirosh sat on his royal throne which was in Shushan the capital, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his officials and servants, the army of Persia and Medea; the nobles and officials of the provinces being present, when he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his splendorous majesty for many days, a hundred and eighty days.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-coming-light/2009/07/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: