We put our house on the market, but there was barely a whisper of interest.
The community had known for some time that we would be moving to Israel in the not- too-distant future. They had understood our strong wish to raise our family there.
When the shaliach’s phone call came, our preparations went into high gear. Not knowing exactly the size of our apartment, but understanding that most Israeli apartments are small, we bought some flat-pack closets and settees that opened into beds. (This was the first time in our 10 years in England that we had bought any new furniture.)
Suddenly offers for the house poured in, a sure sign of Hashem’s helping hand. Prospective buyers competed to see who could get a mortgage and close the deal first.
A month from the telephone call would have brought us into the Nine Days, and we explained that we were not starting our new life at such a tragic time in the Jewish year. But we agreed to leave right after Tisha B’Av.
So there I was, on the floor in our almost empty house (the furniture had already been packed into our container and on its way to the port). While I tried to feel the sadness and tragedy of the destruction of the Temple, in my heart I was experiencing joy and excitement.
I wondered whether I was really so “bad” to feel these thoughts. After all, my longing to return to Jerusalem, to the Kotel, was a yearning to be close to the Beit HaMikdash. And that is what Tisha B’Av is all about.