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Home » Seventeenth of Tamuz

Seventenn of Tamuz: Destruction and Hope

Submitted by on November 2, 2005 – 2:49 amNo Comment | 1,197 views

During the Hebrew month of Tamuz, Jews around the world observe a three-week semi mourning period to commemorate the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

It has been close to two thousand years since the destruction of the Temple and every year on this day Jews fast, pray and mourn the Temple’s destruction. Along with mourning the past we also cling to a fervent and long awaited belief that Moshiach will soon come and reveal himself before the entire world.

The story is told of Rabbi Akiva, a great sage who lived during the times of the Temple’s destruction. One day he and his colleagues were traveling to the holy city of Jerusalem. As they crested the last rise of the mountain, the lonely ruinous sight of the Western Wall lay before them. Jerusalem from Mount OlivesHis colleagues immediately began to wail and mourn the devastating destruction while Rabbi Akiva stood quietly by with a mysterious smile on his face.

They turned to him in shock and asked how he could dare laugh in the face of such destruction? Rabbi Akiva then uttered words that resonate clearly through the ages down to this very day. “If the Almighty fulfilled his prophecy of doom with such precision then he will certainly fulfill his promise of redemption with expedience and glory.“

Rabbi Akiva believed that everything we witness in this world should serve as a positive incentive to serve the almighty. Rabbi Akiva’s words teach us to turn every liability into an asset, the greater the challenge the greater the reward.

My friends, The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, has proclaimed that we live in a remarkable era. We are currently experiencing the last pangs of our long and torturous exile. We are also preparing for the long awaited promise of “Behold Moshiach is soon to arrive.”

In these heady times, the Rebbe said, we should concentrate on preparing ourselves for the coming of Moshiach. We must occupy our minds with positive thoughts and channel our energy towards G-d, religion and the revelation of Moshiach.

Let us take the advice of the great sage Rabbi Akiva and utilize the upcoming days of mourning to fortify our hearts and minds. Let us strengthen our hope and belief that the arrival of Moshiach is imminent. Let us take the proper steps to ensure that when he arrives, he will find us ready, waiting and worthy of his revelation. Amen

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