Photo Credit: Jewish Press

As the Nine Days come to a close with the somber experience of Tisha B’Av, we now happily greet Shabbos Nachamu. But what are we really comforted with? We are still bereft of the Beis HaMikdash! We are still under the subjugation of the gentiles. Antisemitism is breaking out all over the globe, especially in places like France, even burning a Sefer Torah in Sweden! We lull ourselves into pseudo-comfort with concerts and barbecues and a plethora of weddings, but what is the real nachamu nachamu ami?

One aspect of the comfort is the fact that we just spent Three Weeks re-evaluating our attitude towards hoping for Mashiach. We strengthened our concentration on prayers such as, “Ki liyshu’ascha kivinu kol hayom – For your salvation I hope everyday,” in Shemoneh Esrei and “Racheim na, Hashem Elokeinu, al Yisrael amecha – Have mercy, Hashem our G-d, on Yerushalayim Your city,” and in Aleinu when we said with deeper feeling, “Al kein n’kaveh l’cha, Hashem Elokeinu, liros m’heira b’siferas uzecha – And therefore we hope, Hashem our G-d, to see speedily Your glorious strength,” and in our bentching, with “Bonei b’rachamov Yerushalayim.” These changes will certainly help to usher in the Redemption which is a true comfort.


Here’s another improvement idea. I would like to pose to my dear readers a question. If you had no knowledge of any commentary by the Sages and I asked you why you think Hashem ‘closed up’ His House, the Temple, and moved out of the neighborhood (for that is essentially what the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash amounted to), what would you say was the reason that Hashem chose to leave us? I believe most people would conjecture that it was something between us and Hashem, bein adom laMakom. Perhaps, Hashem found our prayers lacking or we weren’t thinking about Him enough. Perhaps it was because we weren’t studying enough Torah, or we weren’t wearing our tefillin with the proper concentration and with a clean body. Maybe Hashem was disgusted that we didn’t learn the intricate laws of Shabbos or kashrus properly. These would all be logical assumptions for why Hashem packed up His bags, closed down His House, and moved back to Heaven.

But, they would all be wrong for we know that the Sages teach us categorically that the Second Temple was destroyed because of the sin of sinas chinam, senseless hatred. It seems that Hashem could have lived in harmony with us and could have looked away from our indiscretions towards Him. He simply could not bear to ‘stick around’ and watch when His children weren’t getting along one with another, for we are Hashem’s children, “Bonim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem – You are children to Hashem your G-d.” Thus, we are all brothers and sisters, as it says, “Acheinu kol Beis Yisrael – Brothers, all of the House of Israel.” This is because we have Hashem, a common Father in Heaven. When the children are fighting, the parent (in this case “Parent”) can’t bear to look and therefore Hashem declared, “I’m out of here.”

What a powerful lesson for us to consider as we head into the month of Elul. As we make many preparations to get ready for the finish line, namely Yom Kippur, we know that the holy Day of Atonement can only atone for sins between us and Hashem, but for sins between us and our fellow, there is no Divine forgiveness until we make amends to the person that we have wronged.

How sad that there exists infighting in so many families. Prestigious families are ripped apart by ferocious feuds. The primary culprits of this ugly phenomenon are money and kavod, honor. Ironically, these are the two things that Rav Avigdor Miller, zt”l, zy”a, used to say that one should give to one’s son in-law. He would wisely say: Spare the criticism and even the advice – unless you are asked. If you want to keep your daughter, give your son-in-law honor and money. But, in the arena of family dynamics, many fine families have been torn asunder quarreling over the yerusha, the inheritance. Sometimes, it’s not even over the money but over the decision maker: who should be in control. We must learn from Hashem’s example that when a parent sees his or her children not getting along, it is intolerable.

For those who are already trapped in the maelstrom of a family feud, know that it is a veritable quicksand. The need to be right is so powerful that it is almost overwhelming. Let me extend a life preserver to such individuals. That is, remember that when one has negias, self-interest, even the smartest person cannot see clearly and becomes morally corrupted. The only way out of the morass is to bring in a reliable, incorruptible, Torahdig third party to help save everyone from drowning, sometimes eternally, in the mud and the muck. Forewarned is forearmed.

The Torah way is stated clearly, “Hinei ma tov u’ma naim, sheves achim gam yachad – How good and how sweet it is when siblings live in harmony and tranquility.” If you have the means, Google ‘The Ethical Will’ of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. There, he writes that he asked his children only one request: that when inevitably one of them wrongs the other, they should forgive and forget, for when the children are united, it will give him and ‘mommy’ great pleasure when they are in the Afterlife.

Our realization after experiencing the sad Three Weeks and knowing that, “Kol dor shelo nivneh Beis HaMikdash b’yomav, kilu charov b’yomav – Any generation that the Temple was not rebuilt in its days, it’s as if it was newly destroyed!” makes us aware that the sin of sinas chinom, petty hatred which destroyed the Temple in the first place is still very much with us. It festers in our families, our shuls, our developments, and at the workplace. Our renewed commitment to do better is certainly a nechama, and in the merit of our renewed efforts to do better, may Hashem bless us with long life, good health, everything wonderful, and the coming of Mashiach speedily in our days!


Transcribed and edited by Shelley Zeitlin.


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Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss is now stepping-up his speaking engagement and scholar-in-residence weekends. To book him for a speaking circuit or evening in your community, please call Rabbi Daniel Green at 908.783.7321. To receive a weekly cassette tape or CD directly from Rabbi Weiss, please write to Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, P.O. Box 658 Lakewood, New Jersey 08701 or contact him at [email protected]. Attend Rabbi Weiss’s weekly shiur at Rabbi Rotberg’s Shul in Toms River, Wednesday nights at 9:15 or join via zoom by going to and entering meeting code 7189163100, or more simply by going to Rabbi Weiss’s Daf Yomi shiurim can be heard LIVE at 2 Valley Stream, Lakewood, New Jersey Sunday thru Thursday at 8 pm and motzoi Shabbos at 9:15 pm, or by joining on the zoom using the same method as the Chumash shiur. It is also accessible on Kol Haloshon at (718) 906-6400, and on To Sponsor a Shiur, contact Rav Weiss by texting or calling 718.916.3100 or by email [email protected]. Shelley Zeitlin takes dictation of, and edits, Rabbi Weiss’s articles.