There is a famous Gemara(Taanis 30b) that tells us:“All those who mourn for Yerushalayim will merit to witness her joy, and [all those] who do not mourn for Yerushalayim will not [merit to] witness her joy.”
I think it behooves us to remember this. If we want to pretend that everything is fine, then we are not living in reality. If we are not aware of the realities of the times we are living in, then what will propel us to daven with intensity for the Redemption we so sorely need?
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Our prophets tell us that, when Mashiach comes and the Beis HaMikdash is standing in Yerushalayim, the world will be a different place. “Ki mi Tzion taitzai Torah” – From Zion shall Torah emanate and the word of Hashem from Yerushalayim” (Yeshiah 2:3).At that time the cultures of the Western world (Eisav) and the Musim world (Yishmael) will no longer rule.
Don’t you think the downfall of Eisav and Yishmael are going to be monumental events? We can survive them, with God’s help, but if we are going to tell ourselves that this is not happening we are not doing ourselves a favor. It seems to me that in order to prepare ourselves for the actual events that are taking place in our world, we have to be realistic.
We know that ten of the meraglim sent by Moshe to report back on the land of Canaan were overwhelmed by what they saw: “The land through which we have passed…is a land that devours its inhabitants. All the people that we saw were…the sons of a giant…. We were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were in their eyes” (Bamidbar 13:32 ff).
Amazing. If you think you’re a grasshopper, then rest assured you will become a grasshopper in other people’s eyes. If, on the contrary, you think you are a servant of Hashem, Whose power is infinite, then you have no limitations whatsoever. The only way our people survive is when we remember we are servants of Hashem, the Infinite One.
We have occasion frequently to travel to Yehudah and Shomron in the Holy Land. We notice on each trip that the Arabs are building more and more on previously empty land. What used to be uninhabited hillsides are covered with Arab dwellings. Cities like Ramallah are constantly growing; every time we return we see new structures, and they are coming closer and closer to Jewish settlements.
It is a mental exercise to overcome the feeling of depression this engenders, but I keep telling myself that this is exactly what happened with the meraglim. They were depressed by numbers; they feared the strength of men; they forgot that Hashemis our Father and King and it is He Who protects us and vanquishes our enemies.
This is our task during this period of the Three Weeks. This emunah and bitachon in Hashem is what we must work on.
We have to know that we are vastly outnumbered by nations that desire to do away with us, God forbid.How do we deal with this? King David gave us the answer, and we say it when we recite Hallel.
From the straits I called upon God. God answered me with expansiveness. Hashem is with me; I have no fear. Therefore I can face my foes. It is better to take refuge in Hashem than to rely on man…. All the nations surround me; in the Name of Hashem I cut them down. They encircle me; they also surround me; in the Name of Hashem I cut them down. They encircle me like bees but they are extinguished as a fire does thorns; in the Name of Hashem I cut them down. [Psalm 118]