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Friday, July 28

The Weekly Shtikle - Devarim / Chazon

Late breaking news: Mazal Tov to my brother and sister-in-law, Binyomin and Shira Bulka and family on the birth of a baby boy this morning in Eretz Yisrael. Mazal Tov to the extended Bulka and Young mishpachos and as well, to the great grandmother, Oma Jakobovits.

When a parsha is positioned next to a special day there certainly must be a connection. Indeed, few parshios are as inextricably tied to their calendar events as Devarim is to Tish'ah B'Av. The connection is surely not a difficult one to make as the story of the spies is featured prominently in the parsha and has very direct correlations to Tish'ah B'Av. However, another perspective occurred to me recently.

Focusing on Devarim as more than just a parsha but rather the beginning of a sefer, it is the first installment of a lengthy homily delivered by Moshe to the nation as he approached the end of his life. Recounting the various episodes and highlights of the past 40 years, Moshe addresses the implicit question, "how did we get where we are today?" By detailing some of the less glorious events and the underpinnings that led to them, he also offers insight into the necessary follow-up question, "what can we do to improve?"

This is very much a crucial component of the Tish'ah B'Av experience. In addition to simply mourning the loss of the Bais HaMikdash, it is incumbent upon us to ask some very similar questions. We must first understand what it is we had and lost. This is why there are kinos devoted to detailing the splendour and beauty of the Bais HaMiksash. We go on to relive the horrific history of how we did lose it and why, and the countless tragedies that continue to befall us. The Yerushalmi (Yoma 1) teaches us that any generation that doesn't have the Bais HaMikdash rebuilt is considered as if they had destroyed it. It is therefore imperative that with the same reflection and introspection with which Moshe Rabbeinu begins this sefer, we reflect on the centuries of hardships with a concentration on what we can do to change things and bring the rebuilding of the Bais HaMikdash in our generation.

Have a good Shabbos and a meaningful fast. Or, if we're fortunate enough, no fast at all.

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Don't you worry!
Dikdukian: Past and Future
AstroTorah: Like the Stars of the Heavens

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