Monday, July 15, 2013

Where's Moshiach this Tisha B'Av

As Tisha B'Av approaches, instead of focussing on Ahavat Chinam and learning to love one another, the religious community is again filled with accusations and insults against those who dress or think differently.
Not just around the Shabbos table, but in public speeches, letters to the editors, and even violent attacks against other Jews, the religious community (and I mean all parts of the religious community, including all different types of dress and ideologies) has managed to guarantee that we will have to fast again on this Tisha B'av.

Tonight as we sit on the floor and cry for events that happened almost 2000 years ago. We should look around the shul and around the Jewish world and remember that all over the world Jews are sitting on the floor crying and listening to the words of Yerimiyahu. If we manage to unite at least in our tears, maybe, just maybe, next year we will be able to unite in joy.

Below is a poem by Rabbi Yitzchok Feigenbaum that you've probably seen this before. It was originally titled "Ode To Purim", but I think that it is more suitable for Tisha B'Av than Purim.

May we all have an easy and meaningful fast.

"כשם שחרבנו, וחרב העולם עמנו, בשנאת חינם; כך ניבנה, וייבנה העולם עמנו, באהבת חינם."
(הראי"ה קוק, אורות הקודש)


"yeshno am echod m'Foozar umi'forud"
To all of "us", from one of "them".
By Rabbi Yitzchok Feigenbaum


T'was the night of the geulah,
and in every single shteibel,
sounds of Torah could be heard,
coming from every kind of Yeidel.

This one in English,
some in Hebrew, some in Yiddish,
some saying pshat,
and some saying chiddush.

And up in shomayim,
the Aibishter decreed,
"The time has come
for My children to be freed.

Rouse the Mashiach
from his heavenly berth,
have him get in his chariot
and head down to Earth."

The Moshiach got dressed,
and with a heart full of glee,
went down to the Earth, and entered
the first shteibel he did see.

"I'm the Moshiach,
Hashem has heard your plea,
your geulah has come,
it is time to go free!"

They all stopped their learning,
this was quite a surprise,
And they looked at him carefully
with piercing sharp eyes.

"He's not the Mashiach!"
said one with a grin,
"Just look at his hat,
at the pinches and brim!"

"That's right!", cried another
with a grimace and a frown,
"Whoever heard of Mashiach
with a brim that is down?!"

"Well", thought Mashiach,
"If that is the rule,
I'll turn my brim up
before I go to the next shule!"

So he walked on right over
to the next shule in town,
confident to be accepted
since his brim was no longer down.

"I'm the Mashiach!", he cried
as he began to enter.
But the Jews there wanted to know first,
if he was left, right, or center.

"Your clothes are so black!"
they cried out in a fright.
"You can't be Mashiach --
you're much too far right!

If you want to be Mashiach,
you must be properly outfitted."
So they replaced his black hat
with a kipa that was knitted.

Wearing his new kipa,
Mashiach went out and he said,
"No difference to me
what I wear on my head."

So he went to the next shule,
for his mission was dear,
But he was getting a bit frustrated
with the Yidden down here.

"I'm the Mashiach!" he cried,
and they all stopped to stare.
And a complete eerie stillness
filled up the air.

"You're the Mashiach?!
Just imagine that.
Whoever heard of Mashiach
without a black hat?!"

"But I do have a hat!"
the Mashiach then said.
So he pulled it right out
and plunked it down on his head.

Then the Shule started laughing,
and one said, "Where's your kop?
You can't have Mashiach
with a brim that is up!

If you want to be Mashiach,
and be accepted in this town,
put some pinches in your hat,
and turn that brim down!"

Mashiach walked out and said,
"I guess my time hasn't really come,
I'll just have to return
to where I came from.

So he went to his chariot,
but as he began to enter,
all sorts of Jews appeared,
from left, right, and center.

"Please wait, do not leave,
it's all THEIR fault!" they said
And they pointed to each other,
and to what was on each other's head.

Mashiach just looked sad,
and said, "You don't understand."
And then started up his chariot
to get out of this land.

"Yes, it's very wonderful,
that all of you learn Torah,
But you seem to have forgotten,
a crucial part of our mesorah."

"What does he mean?
What's he talking about?"
And they all looked bewildered,
and all began to shout.

Mashiach looked back and answered,
"The first place to start,
is to shut up your mouths,
and open up your heart.

To each of you, certain Yidden
seem too frum or too frei
but ALL Yidden are beloved,
in the Aibeshter's eye."

And on his way up he shouted,
"If you want me to come,
try working a little harder
on some ahavas chinam."

(c) YZF Toronto 1992. This may be freely reproduced and
distributed under the following conditions: 1) That it is
reproduced EXACTLY as it appears here, including the heading on
side one, ALL 30 stanzas, and this note; 2) it is distributed
free of charge; 3) it is not used by ANY organization or
promotional purposes. Any breach of these conditions shall
constitute gezel and a breach of the copyright.

LI'N Yikuse'el Zussman B"R Yitzchok Z"L and Pesha B"R Avrohom
Halevi Z"L


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Where's Moshaich? He's having a coffee at some cafe in Paris and saying "What the hell is wrong with those Jews?"

Have an easy fast.

Michael Sedley said...

You're probably right Garnel.

Hope that it's a REALLY BIG cup of coffee, 'cause at the rate we're going, it'll have to last him a while until we're ready for him.