Friday, June 30, 2006

Feeling Helpless To Tragedy in the Summer Months

Every year around this time we see a spike in tragedies. Less superstitious people would claim that that we have these tragedies all year round. We only notice them because we’re trained to think that during the months of Tammuz and Av we suffer more. I’ve never believed that, I truly do believe that we go through so many more tragedies during the summer. Of course we have tragedies all year round, but during these months, they are sadly that much more frequent.

Just in the last week, off hand, just in NY I can think of three young kids who passed away. Even typing those words makes me pause. Three, in just the last week. A young boy, only 17 years old, a 5 year old girl and an 11 year old girl.

Then we have the horrible murder of another very young man in Israel, the capture and holding hostage of another 18 year old boy, a soldier yes, but still a boy. The summer months bring pain and suffering, there is no doubt in my mind about that.

I recall being taught at some point growing up that the world is Kabalisticly different during these summer months. If you would draw a line and at one end you could put Adar, a time of good Mazel and joy. M’shenichnas Adar, Marbim Bsimcha. At the other end of the line would be Av. Tisha B’Av precisely. The low point of the year, spiritually speaking. M’shenichnas Av, Mimatim Bsimcha (we lessen in the Simcha.)

nowing all of this, I've come to feel helpless. Is there anything we can do to prevent any of these tragedies? Don’t we have free will? How is that it’s just predetermined that every year at this time, horrible tragedies will happen. Is there nothing we can do to change this?

We learn in Tanya that it is ok to feel depression or to be sad. It’s just not ok to linger there. Sadness can lead to two paths. If you linger in sadness it can weaken your resolve to move past it and it will become easier to not want to do good. On the other hand, if you learn from the sadness and use it as a strength to change the world, that is obviously good.

I think that is ultimately what we are supposed to be learning from these tragic events, which occur every year during these times. It’s a fissure in space and time. Hashem had pre-installed this low point in our year, in which at these times we must wake ourselves up and learn from the tragic events that occur. We have to remind ourselves that we are in exile and that we were all put on this earth to make this world a better place.

It’s our job to change the world.

Somehow, through these events, we are supposed to gather ourselves, and resolve to be strong. Resolve to do good things, and be good to our fellow man.

Through these actions, we change the world, and bring ourselves that much close to Moshiach. A time in which we will no longer know these types of pains. A time when we will no longer feel tears on our faces.

These summer months, in which we all see so much pain and suffering will go by in vain, if we don’t pick ourselves up and resolve to change the world.

Please, especially during these summer months, when we see so much sorrow. We need to do extra good. Especially in the area of V'ohavta Leraieche Komacho. Love your fellow man like yourself. We need to be more respectful of everyone. We should all resolve that to combat these tragic events, we will be kinder, gentler, more understanding and more loving.

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