"Shabbat Shalom from Bangkok"

one paycheck away

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

This Shabbat is a ‘double-header’.

Its Shabbat.

And its Rosh Chodesh. The ‘head of the month’.

The month of Elul.

One month away from Rosh Hashana.

It’s a month of accounting for the past year.

It’s a month of preparing for the coming year.

Preparing for the future responsibly, requires an honest appraisal of what transpired in the past.

In every business, the owner looks for ‘best practices’ and tries to strengthen them. As well as looking for things that have failed and discontinuing them.

One of the things that can be transformative in our lives and is definitely a ‘best practice’, is being more mindful of the blessings in our lives.

Our Parsha is called ‘Re’eh’ which means ‘see’. As in ‘See, I am placing before you blessing…’. The ‘I’ in the verse is Hashem.

Sometimes, all it takes for us to feel happier and more content, is to open our eyes and see the blessings of G-d.

Do you feel blessed?

Some people when you ask them ‘what do you want to thank Hashem for today’ have trouble coming up with something that they want to give gratitude for.

You may be surprised to hear this. Not to everyone does it come easily to articulate even one thing that they feel thankful for.

Perhaps this below meditation can help.

A statistic I once read has stayed in my consciousness as it sounded quite frightening.

A survey taken in the USA showed that 59% of Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless.

Come to think of it there is something much scarier which we don’t often think about which we don’t need a survey for. We all know it from observing life around us.

We all know that 100% of humans are just one microbial infection, one blood clot, or one malignant cell away from dying.

That is a pretty scary thought that we don’t often like to think about.

So let us NOT think about it. Or rather let us now dwell on it.

Let us think about the fact that 98% of Americans are NOT homeless and (unless you are one of the unfortunate 2%) how thankful we must be that we DO have a home.

The fact is, that if you are reading this, you are alive.

This means that your body with all of its myriad components, is working.

Let us praise Hashem for our physical health. For every breath. For the blood that flows through our veins unimpeded. For the trillions of healthy cells that do their job devotedly.

Let us praise the Master of the Universe for the symmetry in creation.

For all the blessings.

There is no reason to have ‘bad news’ dominate our psyche.

Good news abounds. It just doesn’t make good headlines like crises do.

So next time you are asked, ‘what would you like to thank Hashem for’, think of the trillions of things that are going right in your very own body.

Breath by breath.

Heartbeat by heartbeat.

Our internal digestive system is a huge miracle. There are 100 trillion microbial cells in our gut. Every time we go go the bathroom, we have to be thankful that they are all speaking to each other and cooperating.

The intricate design and cooperation required for opening our eyes in the morning is beyond miraculous.

Think of all the blessings that surround us all that we take for granted.

Make a good resolution to open your eyes and SEE the good that abounds from G-d.

And may G-d bless you to have many more good things to SEE and to give gratitude for.

(For a perspective on the ‘darkness’ and suffering that we witness in the world, click here for an article by Tzvi Freeman on the opening verse of this weeks Parsha’).

The Alter Rebbe in describing the Divine energies that are beamed down to our world in preparation of Rosh Hashana, starting from Rosh Chodesh Elul, describes an analogy involving a king.

Before a king enters his city, its inhabitants go out to greet him and receive him in the field. At that time, anyone who so desires is granted permission [and can] approach him and greet him. He receives them all pleasantly, and shows a smiling countenance to all . . .

During the month of Elul, G-d is analogous to the king in the field. Hashem gives us the gift of being ‘approachable’ before the awesome High Holidays.

The Kabbalists taught that the month of Elul is a month of intense spiritual opportunity where G-d is radiantly accessible to each and every one of us. Just the way we are. Each of us can and should approach Him and put in our ‘pre-Rosh-Hashana’ requests for a Good and Sweet Year!

Shabbat Shalom

Chodesh Tov

Shana Tova

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

good (kosher) meatballs?

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

I was listening to a conversation between a father and a son in his early teens.

The family owns several homes in locations around the world, some of them quite exotic in places with exquisite natural beauty.

Father asks son ‘where would you like to live after we are ready to move on from our current location’?

The son answered, naming a European country. The reason he gave for his choice? ‘Because I have heard that they make good meatballs’.  

The father thought that this was rather comical. Who chooses a place to live based on the quality of their meatballs?

I started thinking about the reasons I have heard from people about their choice of where to live. Sometimes the reasons don’t sound very different than ‘meatballs’ in terms of their deeper significance.

It’s a good week to discuss this. As in this week’s Parsha Moshe tells the Jewish people about the qualities of the land of Israel.

‘For Hashem your G-d is bringing you to a good land’.

‘A land with streams of water, springs, deep water sources… a land of wheat, barley…. olive oil and honey.. a land in which nothing is lacking… from its hills you will mine copper… a land you will eat and be satisfied, and you shall bless G-d for the good land that He has given you’.

Clearly, it is a blessing to live in a land that has the important resources of water, food, and building materials.

But is that the sum total of what is referred to as our ‘Promised Land’?

(There are many deeper interpretations about what the aforementioned qualities allude to, but I want to stick to simple meaning in this article).

Allow me to point out what is not written explicitly but is the background and framework from within which the Promised Land is being discussed.

Moshe is talking to the entire People of Israel.

He tells them that ‘Hashem your G-d is bringing you to a good land’.

The description of the goodness of the land starts after that verse. In other words the material qualities of the land of Israel begin to be relevant only after two conditions are met.

It is Hashem that is bringing you there.

It is the Jewish community as a collective that is being told they will enter the land of Israel.

A recurring theme in the answers that the Rebbe gave to those asking for his guidance about where to live, were based on these two criteria.

Where will one be drawn closer to G-d and Torah-based Jewish community.

Environment and societal behavior have a great influence on one’s life. Choosing a place to live ought to first take into account the moral and spiritual implications of living in that locale.

The Rebbe would emphasize that it’s not just about what is better for the person as a ‘private citizen’. For people who are ‘influencers’ in their environment, it is critical to consider in which location is one’s contribution to the Jewish community more beneficial and perhaps even vital.

You may be surprised to learn that not always was moving to Israel the answer that the Rebbe gave his approval to.

When someone was instrumental in their diaspora Jewish community the Rebbe considered it their holy duty to stay and influence their community. Like a captain doesn’t ‘jump ship’ till all the passengers have safely disembarked, so too, one should not seek the spiritual growth of the ‘holy land’ on the account of leaving a void in the spiritual needs of the community.

Once one knows that it is Hashem who is bringing you to your location of residence.

When it’s clear that your intended move is going to allow you to be together in that location as a Jewish community.

Then, the discussion can move to (KOSHER) ‘meatballs’ and other factors of varying levels of importance.

When Moshe describes the goodness of the land to which the Bnei Yisrael are about to enter, the unstated (because its so obvious) premise is that it is Hashem who is giving the land. And that it is the collective community of Israel who is being instructed by G-d to enter that land.

It is my understanding that to truly be considered a strong Jewish community in terms of a choice for relocation, it is not enough that there are basic amenities of Jewish life. There needs to be a viable Jewish schooling option and a sufficient pool of Jewish families to allow for dating and marriage options within the local Jewish community.

I have been very inspired to see how some families take assertive actions and relocate from ‘remote’ communities once they sense the dangers of intermarriage and assimilation where there is not a large enough pool of young Jewish adults.

Or, while practical considerations have hindered their move as a family, they make the great sacrifice of sending their adolescent children for schooling in vibrant Jewish communities where they have the best chance of meeting, dating and marrying Jewishly.

Once those criteria of coming closer to Hashem and His people are met, the discussion about ‘milk and honey’ can begin.

Clearly, making a choice about where to live and raise a family is a very weighty one. It should not be based primarily on ‘meatballs’. Nor on household help availability. Not even on weather (unless of course there is a medical issue).

Those are secondary things.

The Torah way of choosing where to live is based on the primary reasons for which we live.

To draw closer to G-d and fulfill His mission here on earth.

I am mindful of the fact that there may a very small group of readers to whom this discussion is relevant in its complete sense.

I have many readers in very vibrant Jewish communities both in Israel and in the diaspora.

On the other hand, many are in remote locations. Not entirely by choice. Economics and various other sociological factors govern where they reside.

However, there is a lesson here for us all.

Let us ensure that the true values of our lives be uppermost in our minds.

Having an abundance of material conveniences is fantastic.

But it can also be most empty and unfulfilling. Sadly, many entitled and pampered young people, grow up dissatisfied and unhappy.

When the material wherewithal comes from a background of connection to G-d and giving back (tzedakah in all its forms) benefiting your family and community, the materialism becomes a vehicle and conduit for living a meaningful and purposeful life.

Here is a call to action.

Place your arrows firmly in the ‘bullseye’ of the target and draw the circles around that.

Make G-d and His people the primary factors in your life.

The focus and clarity that this will bring to your life, will render many of your subsequent life dilemmas and decisions less confusing.

Ultimately, when you live life by the above values, you create a holy land in your own environment.

The Rebbe used to constantly encourage people ‘Make your own Israel’ via the holiness you inject and the atmosphere you create around you.

With blessings for a Shabbat Shalom.

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

 PS It’s the Shabbat that blessed the month of Elul, which means Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are around the corner. Hence its time to give early SHANA TOVA blessings as well.



too salty?

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

Have you ever had the experience of working hard to cook a dish, only to put too much salt in, rendering the food barely edible?

Little things, like spicing food in correct quantity, can change the entire scenario.

In life, its often not about what we do and how hard we work, rather its how we do it and what perspective we operate with.

This week we read the comforting words of Yeshayahu (Isaaiah) the Prophet. This Shabbat is called ‘Shabbat Nachamu’ referring to the opening words of the prophecy of comfort.

Our Sages asked, why did Yeshayahu merit to be the prophet of comfort?

Their explanation, because Yeshayahu accepted G-d’s mission of prophesying to the Jewish people with joy.

Joy makes all the difference in the world.

Joy is the spice that gives all our deeds an uplifted status.

You may think joy is overrated, after all isn’t the actual work more important than the frame of mind from which you operate?

But actually, this is not the case.

You can be toiling away and doing great stuff. However, if you are doing it with a sense of burden, it is second rate at best. How can that be? It would be analogous to oversalting the dish you labored over. You worked so hard to prepare the dish. You think you deserve points for effort. However, if no one can eat the dish because it is too salty, your efforts will have been in vain.

When it comes to Tzedaka the Rambam spells it out very clearly. Giving joylessly is  at the very bottom of the list.

There are eight levels of charity, each greater than the next.

[1] The greatest level, above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand so that he will not need to be dependent upon others . . .

[2] A lesser level of charity than this is to give to the poor without knowing to whom one gives, and without the recipient knowing from who he received.

…. Click here for full chart of levels

7] A lesser level than this is when one gives inadequately, but gives gladly and with a smile.

[8] A lesser level than this is when one gives unwillingly.

We can readily understand why giving tzedakah unwillingly is the lowest on the list, because there is nothing more demeaning and belittling that someone giving you something begrudgingly. By making the recipient feel like you are giving out of a sense of duty rather than out of care for him, you are causing embarrassment and pain.

Of course, even if you can only bring yourself to give Tzedakah without joy, it is better to give joylessly than not to give at all.

But if you are already doing tzedakah, you may as well do it with joy. By doing so you will open yourself up to a new world. To a deeper and more blessed relationship with G-d.

It is self-understood how in relationships, without joy and excitement the relationship will be on shaky grounds.

In Judaism, weddings are celebrated with incredible joy.

The Torah says that for the first year, the husband must make it his all-consuming priority to ‘make happy the wife that he took’.

Regarding the mitzvah of Brit Milah (circumcision) which has survived throughout the millennia despite all odds, our Sages tell us that since Brit Milah was always done by the Jewish people joyously, it endured.

Any Mitzvah that is done with joy, endures.

Even from a human experiential perspective this makes sense. If you sense that your parents were doing something but didn’t really like to do it, chances are that the kids will not continue to do it. Whereas if your children see how joyously you perform a particular Mitzvah, there is a more than good chance that this is something they will seek to continue.

Amazingly, even for Prophets, the catalyst for being a prophet of comfort as opposed to a prophet prophesying about bitter consequences, is the small but mega-powerful ingredient of JOY.

Simply put, if one accepts upon himself to serve G-d, and is joyous about this commitment, they are opening themselves up to G-d’s blessings and smiles.

Last week we had to find something positive within the apparent destruction. It was difficult to keep a joyous perspective.

Not so this week. We should have no major challenge being joyous this week. We need but to open ourselves up to hearing the voice of consolation and comfort that stream forth from this weeks Haftarah portion from the book of Isaiah.

“Comfort, comfort My people, says your G-d.” 

The anticipation of the comfort that G-d promises to bring us, should be enough to get us dancing with joy!!!

May G-d indeed show us His comforting presence in a revealed and obvious way by bringing Mashiach.

Let us do our bit to enhancing and broadening the channels of blessing from the Almighty by thinking, speaking and acting in a JOYOUS manner.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

PS the Torah teaches that one of the things that adds joy, is ‘new faces’. Guests bring a fresh spirit and a sense of excitement.

This means that here in Thailand the Shabbat will be one of JOY as the guest list for Shabbat dinner at the Chabad Houses across Thailand has gone over the two thousand guest mark.

Click here to get a glimpse of the preps in Phuket

And here to be a tzedakah partner and sponsoring host

destroy vs demolish

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

I was giving an informal talk at a Yartzeit anniversary of a community member. Being that it is the days that lead up to Tisha B’av (see schedule below), the day of national mourning for the destruction of the Bet Hamkidash that became the focus of the discussion.

I asked my listeners to consider the difference between the two words destruction and demolition.

They have very similar meanings. Whether the building was destroyed or demolished it is no longer there.

But I would like to posit that there is a nuanced difference between them.

Destruction connotes getting rid of something. As in, ‘the destruction caused by the earthquake means that it will take years for the country to rebuild and recover’.

Demolition lends itself more to planned removal. As in ‘the reason for the demolition of the bridge was to ensure a safe passage over the river’. A new bridge will be built where the old bridge stood’.

Was the Bet Hamikdash destroyed or demolished?

When I had finished presenting my question which would be the springboard for a discussion on the topic, A lex asked me ‘was the Beth Elisheva synagogue destroyed or demolished’?

And then a lightbulb went on in my head.

First some background.

Once we reached the blessed stage that our community was outgrowing the Beth Elisheva building, we looked to expand the existing building by adding an extension. This would be less complicated in many ways. Before one adds to a building it must first be evaluated. The first step thus was to engage the world class Meinhardt engineering firm to inspect the existing building that was at the time more than thirty years old.

Excerpts from Meinhardt’s report regarding the danger of adding an extension to the existing Beth Elisheva structure:

‘it is therefore recommended, that if a change of usage is required, the building should be demolished, and an appropriately designed structure is built in its place

How about just leaving the building as renovating and redecorating? This next line clinched the argument in favor of demolition.

… it should also be understood that the holding of large gatherings currently as practiced, entails some risk’

In other words, even the existing usage didn’t meet Meinhardt’s exacting standards.

Reading these lines in retrospect, they sound more ominous than they did then. For in the interim, tragically, the concept of risk in building structures has become very well known in the Jewish world. The collapse last year of the Surfside Tower in Miami affected the Jewish community in Miami in an acutely painful and personal way.

‘And when will the new Beth Elisheva building actually happen’ further asked Alex. He added, ‘it is now several years since the building was demolished and the new one has not begun to be built. Is it not a priority for you?’

Before I had a chance to answer, Alex asked me yet a more pointed question ‘the Chabad House project down at Kaosarn Rd started around the same time as Beth Elisheva and yet while the Chabad House beautiful new building is now up and operational, Beth Elisheva not yet built?’

The lightbulb started shining more brightly in my mind.

I now started to understand the dynamics of Tisha B’av in a more personal way.

The Bet Hamikdash was destroyed because of our imperfections. The Jewish people had sinned (click here for more details) and thus ‘caused’ the destruction of the Temple.

But does G-d intend it to remain razed?

Or is there a plan to build a replacement?

Clearly Judaism believes in the rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash. Our prophets spoke of the coming of Mashiach. This is one of the fundamentals beliefs of Judaism. Part of the ‘job description’ of Mashiach is that he builds a Bet Hamikdash in its intended spot on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.

A bigger, better and more beautiful edifice.

An eternal temple.

That cannot be destroyed.

But why is it taking so long?

Well, how long does it take for G-d to ‘finalize the plans for the Bet Hamikdash’?

Is there an ‘industry standard’ for how long building Bet Hamikdash’s take?

We actually do have a precedent to compare with.

You see, this is not the first time we have had a loss of our Bet Hamikdash. We had a ‘First Bet Hamikdash’ for 410 years and then we sinned. As a result, it was destroyed, and we were exiled to Babylon. Seventy years later we were given the Divine ‘go ahead’ to rebuild a better and more beautiful ‘Second Bet Hamkidash’.

So it seems that seventy years is sufficient to build a Bet Hamikdash.

Tragically, after 420 years, we lost that second Bet Hamikdash as well due to sin.

What sin?

My colleague Rabbi Uriel Vigler explained it well,

A couple of weeks ago I flew to Israel with my family. As we waited to check in at JFK, juggling our five young children and multiple pieces of luggage, a stranger walked over and introduced himself. Being a Chabad rabbi, and very visible in my black hat and jacket, I am accustomed to being approached by strangers. But this man had something else on his mind.

Jack* was in JFK with his 12-year-old daughter who was flying alone to spend time with her cousins in Israel. The airlines considered her an unaccompanied minor, so Jack was looking for someone he could trust to take his daughter through security, onto the plane and through Ben Gurion at the other end. Of course, we agreed to help him, and it turned out that his daughter was actually great help with our five kids. Win-win!

But we were some of the last few people to check in, so I asked Jack, "You must've waited here for a long time until you found someone you felt you could trust. Why did you pick us? Aren't we strangers just as much as the next person?"

"Yes, we arrived very early," he explained. "I've been standing here scanning passengers, trying to decide who I could trust with my precious child."

"What made you trust me?" I asked.

"Well, I see that you have five children, and I noticed the way you were holding and hugging your 2-year-old daughter. If that's how you take care of your daughter, especially in this harried situation, I know I can trust you."


This weekend we will make the saddest day on the Jewish calendar-Tisha B'Av. On Tisha B'Av we commemorate the destruction of the first and second holy Beit Hamikdash. Although it's been almost 2,000 years since the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed, we yearn for it to be rebuilt.

The Midrash tells us that G-d is waiting and yearning to build the third Beit Hamikdash for us, and on Shabbat Chazon, the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av, our souls get a glimpse of it. So, if we are yearning for it, and G-d is yearning to give it to us, what is He waiting for?

He needs to know that He can trust us.

The last Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of Sinat Chinam-baseless hatred. So before we can receive the third and final Beit Hamikdash, we need to prove that we can do better.

How do we show G-d that He can trust us?

Like Jack* who was watching me, G-d is waiting for us to "hug" one another. We need to demonstrate our care, concern, love and appreciation for all our fellow Jews, regardless of how well we know them, how much we have in common, or how much we agree on.

G-d is waiting and watching to see how we treat one another. When He sees us loving one another unconditionally, He will again entrust us with the holy Beit Hamikdash and the Final Redemption.

*Name changed to protect the individuals privacy.

It's more than nineteen hundred years after the destruction of the Second Bet Hamkidash. We’ve been through lot since then. We have given a lot of ‘hugs’ to each other. There is so much benevolence and so many good and loving deeds being done. Surely, we must have reached the rectification of the sin.

If seventy years was enough time to get a second Bet Hamikdash, now its about 27 X 70 years later. Surely it should be high time. Why is it taking so long?

Let me jump back to Bangkok 2022.

Why indeed is Bet Elisheva taking longer than Chabad House to build?

I can tell you that for me personally, it is of the highest priority. The delay is not because the new center is unimportant. On the contrary, it is uppermost on my mind. I ask myself those very questions ‘when will it be built’ every day.

So why IS it taking this long?

Because of its greatness and significance.

The Beth Elisheva building will be twice the size of the new Chabad House.

It’s a bigger more sophisticated and multi-faceted campus.

It will be ‘The Jewish Heart of Thailand’ for our local Jewish community.

The campus will contain a wide variety of functions so that it will be relevant to every Jew in Thailand.

A dignified and inspiring Synagogue will feature in the campus. As well as a library and study rooms.

A museum will highlight Thai Jewish history and teach the values and guiding moral light of Judaism. Locals, visitors and schools will come to visit and become educated.

JCafe & Kosher Shop will feature prominently in the building and provide a warm meeting place with a readily available variety of delectable kosher food.

Jewish continuity will be bolstered by the including of a state-of-the-art nursery school, a lounge designed specially for Jewish teens, a gym for youth activities, community offices and of course a Mikvah.

The experts all say that it is worthwhile to spend longer on getting the plan right, then starting to build and then needing to adjust.

The good news is that hopefully the ‘waiting stage’ is at its conclusion. The planning is in the final stages please G-d and hopefully the actual building will start soon.

The Bet Hamikdash we are waiting for is the ‘Wow of Wow of Wow’ buildings. One can understand that something that incredible, takes time. Unquestionable it is worth waiting for.

But its not really a good answer when it comes to the Bet Hamikdash.

For how long can we be expected to wait?

Part of the problem with waiting for something for a long time, is that people lose interest at some stage. It’s human nature. When something just keeps getting delayed and excused, disillusionment starts to seep in.

How does G-d expect us to keep waiting?

A story is told of the Maggid of Mezritch. Once, his son came running to him in tears. The Maggid comforted him and asked him why he was crying. The child began to explain that he had been playing a game of hide-and-seek with his friends.

He and all his friends were hiding. They remained in their hiding places for a long time, thinking that they had hid well, and that the person whose turn it was was unable to find them. But soon they got tired of waiting. They came out of their hiding places and discovered that they had been wrong. The one whose turn it was to search, was not even there. He had played a trick on them! After they went into their hiding places, he went home instead of searching for them. That is why the Maggid’s son was crying.

When the Maggid of Mezritch heard this story, he also began to cry. His son asked him why he was crying. The Maggid told him that G‑d has the same complaint.

What did the Maggid mean? It is written, “You are a G‑d Who hides.” G‑d says, “I hide Myself from you, but the purpose of My hiding is that you should come and search for Me. But instead of searching for Me, you go away and busy yourselves with other things.”

The Rebbe tearfully and emotionally commented on this story:

Indeed, it is true that the father must conceal himself from his son in order to awaken within him a yearning for his father… But what should the son do when the father places him in an incredible darkness? . . . And then He demands of us that we should constantly search . . . Sunday we must search . . . Monday we must search . . .

So, how can one register a complaint against a mortal of flesh and blood who is finite and limited—this is how he was created by G‑d; it is not his fault!—how can one criticize him for not constantly thinking about the redemption . . . it is not possible . . . G‑d Himself says, “I ask only commensurate to one’s capabilities,” but He has not given us the strength . . .

Therefore we must increase in light—and not just any light, but specifically the light of simchah (joyousness). Since simchah “breaks all boundaries and limitations,” it breaks through the person’s limitations, the limitations of this world, and the limitations imposed by this dreadful darkness . . .

This question of ‘how long can we wait’. And how long can G-d expect us to keep searching and waiting, is an existential question that is best to leave unanswered by us mortals. G-d alone can and will provide the answer.

As we enter the space of Shabbat, Tisha B’av gets pushed off. Tonight is ‘Tisha B’av’ i.e. the ninth of Av, but the fast is pushed off to the tenth of Av, starting Saturday night.

We wish it would be pushed off entirely. So that the fast would turn into a feast.

How can we celebrate the Shabbat as we should, when we are engrossed in this time period that focuses on the destruction?

On Shabbat we change our perspective. We are given the ‘glasses’ to see things from Hashem’s perspective.

Click here for more on the ‘vision’ of this Shabbat Chazon.

From Hashem’s perspective it was never about destruction.

It was always just about lovingly wanting to grant us a third Bet Hamikdash that will supersede and outshine anything we can imagine.

During the week, and when we see the world in our ‘standard’ earthly ‘glasses’, we see darkness and we feel the absence of the Bet Hamikdash. On Tisha B’av we don’t eat and drink or do other pleasurable things that would take our mind of the mourning. Jewish law instructs us to be fully present in our ‘homesickness’ and yearning and longing for the presence of G-d in his Temple. At least on this one day of the year we need to feel the loss acutely.

Yet, during the next twenty-four hours of Shabbat, we are instructed to see things from the Shabbat perspective.

This Shabbat is thus an intensely powerful one. For it penetrates the gloom and blazes a shaft of light to reframe the situation not as horrendous destruction, but rather as being part of the glorious rebuilding of something so grand that it took nineteen hundred years to ‘plan’ it.

Let us enter this Shabbat with our hopes up that before we can even blink our eyes, Mashiach will come and G-d’s true plan will be revealed.

And then, you and I and all of Am Yisrael will feast and party with abandon celebrating the final redemption.


Shabbat Shalom

& if Mashiach G-d forbid doesn’t come first, an easy fast.

If as we hope, Mashiach comes first, we will change that wish to a Chag Sameach greeting. Halevai - If only….




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