Shabbos-Sunday is the culmination of the “Three weeks & nine days”. These are sad days on the Jewish calendar. They have “negative energy” for the Jewish people. If you have a court case, try to push it off until after this time. If you are buying a house, signing a big deal or traveling, best to push it off. It’s not a time for swimming, extensive travel or other potentially dangerous things.
Tisha B’ Av is the day the Jews were sentenced to die in the desert (and thereby spend 40 years wandering). It is the day the first and second Temples were destroyed. It was the final day for the Jews to be out of Spain in 1492. It is the day that WWI broke out.
But Tisha B’Av is not just a “bad day” in far off history.
In my lifetime I’ve seen tragedies on this day too. It is the day all Jews were expelled from Gaza in 2005. It is the day Fariba, a single mother from our Hebrew School, died and left her twins literally orphans. It is the day last year that Helene tragically passed away from a heart attack in a pool.
This year, the nine days tragedy hit my extended family. Just recently, my step cousins, Jillian & Lindsay Wiener tragically died in a house fire at a vacation home they were renting in NY. My step uncle, aunt and cousin (their brother) survived with minor injuries.
Jillian & Lindsay were beautiful souls. They were normal, American, Jewish kids. In college involved in good things, and on their way to leading very productive lives. For some unfathomable reason, G-d decided it was their time.
All during the Nine Days. It is a reminder that we are still in exile (golus). We do believe that Moshiach is on his way, that the world is on its way to become a “perfect” place (good and holy). In every metric, the time period we are living in is the best time in history, by far. Life span, hunger, war (yes, even with Russia) and on and on.
If Jillian and Lindsay’s story reminds us that we’re still in golus, and that we won’t be satisfied with all these worldly improvements until the job is finished, and in the words of the prophet, “death with be swallowed up forever”, that would be the biggest honor to their memory.
Yes, at this point, I think it’s possible to fathom. We’re not there yet, but we could be in the not so distant future.
If we can channel our emotions to positive action, to actually finish the job and bring Moshiach, Jillian and Lindsay will have a tremendous merit.