“Be consoled, Be consoled My people, Says your G-d.” (Yishaya 40:1)
As we put away our Kinos until next year, and this special day of closeness recedes in our minds, I would like to mention that there was a custom in Europe from before The War to put the Kinos into the geniza every year. The purpose of that custom was to instill in the Jews a strong belief that by next year Moshiach would be here and the kinos would be of no relevance.
I would like to discuss another aspect of the relevance of the kinos regarding the future. Baruch Hashem, I would say in the last 30 years the day of Tisha b’Av has become a very inspiring day. I walk away from it with a bittersweet feeling. There is something special about recalling our splendor, our difficulties, and the fact that Hashem is with us. This gives us the ability and stamina to forge ahead.
I have heard many times from survivors of the Holocaust who became successful, when asked, “With what strength did you put yourselves together and become so successful?”, they answered that it was their desire to take revenge on the Nazis. The fact that these Jews flourished showed the Nazis who the true victors were. The Kiddushas Haleivi points out that it is no coincidence that we lein the Aseres Hadibros on the Shabbos after Tisha b’Av. I would suggest that maybe it is because we are creating a new connection – a new treaty – with Hashem, rebuilding from the ashes.
After Tisha b’Av, many of us look forward to some kind of summer vacation. In a sense, some may feel that this is turning our backs on the lessons that we have just learned from Tisha b’Av. The Torah perspective is that there is a time and place for everything and even after the period of mourning is over, we are to take those lessons with us. We are not “turning our backs” on the churbon, our exile and our plight, but rather building and forging forward towards the future. I believe that in the seven weeks from Tisha b’Av to Rosh Hashanah, when we read the haftaros of nechamah (consolation), we should take note of the double expression nachamu nachamu ami. Many ask, “why is there a double expression?” I would like to answer with a thought that is pertinent to us, this year in particular. The present health situation is such that we feel frayed and fragile, lacking stability, especially in our own “makom hamikdash”. I am sure we all had in mind in our prayers and kinos that Hashem should redeem us from our personal exile, to be able to return to a “normal” existence in our own mikdash me’at. The double expression of nechama represents a nechama over the Beis Hamikdash and also a personal nechama.
As we forge forward in our quest for growth, leading up to the yomim nora’im, we should know that Hashem is looking down on us, showering us with mercy and comforting us. If we keep these thoughts in the back of our minds, and realize that our “break” is also needed in order to forge ahead, then all of our endeavors will hopefully be blessed with a nechama, a growth in spirituality and safety in our health.