These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Chassidic Tale (Tisha b’Av)

Posted on July 21, 2013 by Charlie Carnow

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R. Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev said on Shabbat Parashat Hazon, the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, every Jew is shown a vision of the third Beit HaMikdash from afar.

A story is told about a visit of Rabbi Shlomo Carliner, the Rebbe of the Carlin-Stolin, to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi on Tisha B’Av.

Rabbi Shlomo HaLevi of Karlin was shocked to see a Hasid of Rabbi Shneur Zalman throwing berelach, little tree brambles at those celebrating the day. He said, because of people like this, the Temple was destroyed. To which Shneur Zalman responded, come back tomorrow, and you shall see.

The following day, Shneur Zalman took Rabbi Shlomo to the forest, where he saw the same Chasid, Rabbi Shmuel Munkus, weeping bitterly for the Temple’s destruction. Rabbi Shlomo said, for people like these the holy Temple will be rebuilt.

This is a lesson for all of us. We cannot normalize ourselves with the existence of a broken world, a world where “the Kohaim are not in their assigned service, the Levites on their platform, the Israelites at their station”, where that vision is still far from actualization. But neither can we lose optimism that it can be repaired or stop actively expecting it or despair, may it take place speedily and soon.

Special thanks to Rabbi Yisroel Noach Wichnin, Rosh Yeshiva of Maayanot and Rabbi Dov Wagner of Chabad @ USC for sharing this story.