Since our Cazal tells us that when Codesh Av enters we lessen our joy (simcha) and when Codesh Adar enters we increase our simcha, it behooves us to try to find some underlying thread of connectedness between these two antithetically appearing periods of time whose pinnacle of expression are manifest on Tisha b’Av and Purim:
On Tisha b’Av we replace our smiles and laughter on Purim with our tears and heartfelt sighs.
On Tisha b’Av we exchange our less than conventional Purim costumes with unadorned garments and no leather shoes.
On Tisha b’Av we defer from the joyous festive eating and drinking of Purim with our fasting and abstaining from bathing.
On Tisha b-Av we refrain from sharing ourselves and gifts with others as we do on Purim, while instead sitting lower down in contemplative introspection.
O’Tisha b-Av please reveal to us how through your five restrictions of the day can we bring ourselves five steps closer to the coming of the Mesiach?
(Tisha b’Av speaking to us)
1) On this, my day of mourning, by taking off your leather shoes you begin to “refit” your souls.
2) On this, my day of mourning, by refraining from leisurely walks and other corporeal pleasures, you increase your “strides” towards holiness.
3) On this, my day of mourning, by not washing or anointing, you further “cleanse” and “purify” your souls.
4) On this, my day of mourning, by withdrawing from food and drink, you increase your souls “nourishment”.
5) On this, my day of mourning, by abstaining from learning, you rejuvenate your commitment to the Torah.
O’Tisha b’Av with the birth pangs of the Mesiach waiting at your “doorstep”, may we do our part to open the “doors” of our hearts thus meriting the full glory of your day becoming a joyous Yom Tov.
La-shana haba bi-Jerusalem
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