Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

As we enter the nine days before the ninth day of the month of Av, the day the Holy Temple was destroyed, I wonder, maybe this time we won’t lament over the destruction of Hashem’s house. Maybe this year we will finally merit seeing His holy house rebuilt?

Changing the world and bringing about major change seems a bit farfetched. Giving gratitude is something we must do every day. However, giving gratitude won’t necessarily move me from my comfort zone. I can thank the Almighty for all I have, from my own home and then I can walk outside and not notice others in need or in distress.

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One can feel good that they gave thanks and move on with the day’s activities. But how much do we see others in need, or in pain, or even in their happiness?

With all of our busy and hectic lives, we tend to go about our days according to a schedule we set up for ourselves. So in this schedule is there a section that is called love your fellow friend? See others during the day and give them a good word? A smile? Or even a hug? Do we notice someone who is alone?

We can effect change from just looking around ourselves and seeing who needs an extra loving word or hug.

I’ve mentioned this point so many times in the past, how much love and attention every one of us really needs.

We are living in a time where the smart phone has replaced so much of our daily activities. And regarding actions between friends, well unfortunately, the phone has become our best friend. However, just as many books and articles have been written about the words ‘thank you’ and giving gratitude to the One above, so too the words ‘love and support’ can be repeated over and over again until we get it right.

The world is filled with so much good and yet there is so much sadness all around. Look at people’s faces, there is a lot of stress and worries that no one knows how to fill. And yet we can still choose to see the world in a different light. The way we see things is the way Hashem will see us. A person who sees the cup half full will be measured in the same way. If I see good in others, G-d will see good in me.

We are all full of mistakes and imperfections. However, what I decide to put my focus on will be what really counts. This is true, of course, in the way I see others.

The nine days leading up to the destruction of the Holy Temple are significant in every generation. It is written that in a generation that the Beit HaMikdash wasn’t rebuilt it’s like it was destroyed again. Spiritually, it can fall daily. It is our actions as individuals and as a nation that can build or heaven forbid, create the opposite effect in Hashem’s house.

The way we see ourselves and others is the building blocks and the foundation for the full redemption of our nation. Thinking that only one action is not powerful enough to create change isn’t correct at all. To hurt someone or break something only takes a second. So why won’t a good word or one good action create or build something new?

I pray each week in a beautiful Chabad shul here in Jerusalem. This wonderful place has a wide range of people from all walks of life and they all find their place in this shul, because this house of prayer is filled with so much love. In this shul the people choose to see one another in a positive light; in a loving way. This synagogue makes me think about Hashem’s house. Each week as we all sing and dance together, throughout the prayers. I feel Hashem’s house up in the heavens is rebuilt from all that love and understanding of one another no matter who and where they come from. And I can literally see the Holy Temple coming closer each week.

When I pray on Shabbat in shul there is so much happiness and warmth in the air that I close my eyes and see all sorts of people that I know, who might be sad or in distress and I send them all the love I feel at that moment and fill their void with all I have.

I believe that only with love and happiness can we bring about change and bring the final redemption.

May we celebrate the redemption this year on the ninth day of Av and may all our nation be united with love and happiness forever.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com