Tisha b'Av again. (Previous years' posts: 2006: here, 2009: here, 2010: here, and 2011: here)
As my children get older and more, well, what's the word for taking-over-the-house-y? It's hard to focus on aveilus, on mourning. Right now Sroch's morning playgroup thing is winding down in the other room (it was half here, half at another house) and the hollers and peals of laughter don't feel very 9th-of-Av-y. Llama is at a camp program finishing in 45 minutes, then Sroch is going to ANOTHER organized program.
This morning on the floor, I ended up not watching a shiur but a documentary on the Gush Katif, ahem, "disengagement."
Oh Hashem. Oy. Crying, crying.
It's a very relevant connection to the destruction of the batei mikdash, of course. Because there too we had to walk away from that which we'd built, loved, grown, and walk into exile. Because then too all the begging and pleading just didn't work.
The soldiers, those poor young men and women who were just doing what they were ordered to, though it hurt them, were (hope this is not blasphemous) like God during the destructions. A sympathetic, even a loving face, while the hand pushed them out the door, carried them out the door.
The kina says, "alei tzion keareiya kmo isha betzureia" - we wail for Jerusalem like a woman wailing in labor. As I recall - vividly - the wailing in labor I did was because I thought: this is futile. I'm never going to get anywhere, this pain is beyond what I can live through, I am going to die and everything is bleak and black and broken (they tell me that's called 'transition').
In many ways, it would be easy to think our wailing now is the same. It's been thousands of years since we had a Temple in Jerusalem. Surely our crying now is futile. Surely there's no hope.
Our pain is likened to a woman in labor because she DOES get somewhere in the end. There IS a goal, and a purpose, and two seconds after the baby is born you go - oh. That was transition, not red-hot-death-with-iron-rods-in-my-lower-back. Oh.
We are getting closer.
We are getting so much closer.
My children WILL see the rebuilt Beis Hamikdash in Yerushalaim. You'll see.
...because without that belief... the pain is just too much.