Torah Message from Rabbi Moldovan
The period of the three weeks begins with the a fast and ends with a fast. During that time, we are restricted in cutting our hair, listening to music, buying clothing, eating meat, and drinking wine. Bathing is restricted in the heat of summer and we can’t go swimming for a whole week of peak swimming season! The three weeks is really uncomfortable. Why do we do this? To remember the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash. I have a better idea. Why don’t we just learn about the destruction to have a greater understanding and appreciation of it. We can study about the grandeur of the Temple and the land of Israel. We can recount the history of the Temple and its destruction. We will surely remember the destruction of the Temple this way, and we won’t have to be uncomfortable for weeks. Why do we have to be uncomfortable? The explanation is that as tragic our national situation is after the exile from the land of Israel and the destruction of our Temple, we have gotten used to it. We can all call ourselves Zionists and profess that Israel is the correct place for all Jews to be, but when push comes to shove we won’t leave our comfortable existence for the frontier of Israel. We are just too comfortable to mourn for what used to be. We don’t really care about the Temple – we just want to be comfortable. Being forced to experience personal discomfort is a means to wake us up to the discomfort that we should feel. This will spur us to be able to mourn for the Temple. There is no better training ground for this than the three weeks.