Since our Sages tells us that when the month of Av enters we lessen our (simcha) happiness and when the month of 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 the days of Tisha b’Av and Purim respectively.
On Tisha b’Av we replace our cheerful smiles and laughter of Purim with tears and heartfelt sighs.
On Tisha b’Av we exchange our flamboyant Purim costumes and demeanor with unadorned garments and mournful introspection.
On Tisha b’Av we defer from the joyous festive eating and drinking of Purim by replacing them withdrawal from corporeal pleasures.
On Tisha b-Av we refrain from joyously sharing with all and bestowing gifts on friends as we do on Purim, while instead sit humbly in an introspective state of mourning.
O’Tisha b-Av please reveal to us how through your five restrictions of this day can we bring ourselves five steps closer to the coming of the final redemption?
(Tisha b’Av speaking to us)
1) On this, our day of mourning, by taking off your leather shoes, allows us to “refit” our souls.
2) On this, our day of mourning, by refraining from leisurely walks and other corporeal pleasures, allows us to increase our “strides” towards holiness.
3) On this, our day of mourning, by not washing and anointing externally, instead merit to “cleanse” and “purify” ourselves internally.
4) On this, our day of mourning, instead of physically eating and drinking, we become “nourished” with spiritual nourishment for our souls.
5) On this, our day of mourning, by abstaining from learning, we learn instead that life has no deep meaning without the teachings of the Torah.
O’Tisha b’Av, may the Mashiach who is waiting at our “doorstep”, help us to open the “doors” of our hearts, thereby for ever transforming past times of mourning into future times of joy.
La-shana haba bi-Jerusalem