Rabbi Mendel Kessler
Shabbos Chazon And Tisha B'Av
The Shabbos preceding Tisha B’Av is known as Shabbos Chazon, called after the Haftorah of the day. Though it contains harsh words criticizing the Jews’ errors, it contains even greater optimism. The Gemara (Brochos 12a) states “hakol holeich achar hachitum,” everything follows the ending. And the end of this haftorah? “Tzion bamishpat tipade veshiveha betzidaka,” the redemption will come. Rabbi Akiva saw foxes running on temple mount and laughed. In that moment he saw the promised future as well. From the darkest places comes the greatest light.
Chazon means vision. The Maggid of Mezritch explains that on this Shabbos, Hashem shows every Jew a vision of the Beis Hamikdash. We may not see it with our eyes, but you see it nonetheless. How? In Daniel it says, “and I alone Daniel saw the vision…” says the Talmud (Megillah 3a) “even though those that were with him did not see, their mazal saw.” Likewise, our mazal, our souls, see this vision of the Beis Hamikdash.
The Magid gives a moshol: A father gave his son a beautiful suit which the son soils. The father gave him a second suit, which the son likewise soils. The father makes a third suit, but this one he does not give to his son. Every now and then he shows it to him as a reminder to continue improving his ways.
Why does the Magid give an example of a garment for the Beis Hamikdash? Though both a house and a garment surround a person, the garment is tailored to fit. On the posuk “machon leshvtecha paalta hashem” our Chachomim explain that the Mikdash below reflects a parallel one above. Just as the Mikdash above contains varied levels of holiness, so too the Mikdash below is built to house all those differences. In that regard, the Mikdash is likened to a garment, tailor made.
Being that the first two Batei Mikdash were built by man, their reflecting of the Mikdash above was not as apparent. The final Beis Hamikdash will be built by Hashem and the different levels of holiness will radiate.
We are told that if only the nations of the world would know the benefit the House of G-d brings to the world, they would send their armies to protect it, rather than destroy. The Beis Hamikdash acts like the soul of the world. Much like the soul that is present in the head of a person which gives clarity and direction to the whole body.
During golus, the world is asleep. We may know of G-d’s presence on some level, but we can choose to do something against His Will. Much like the thief who prays to G-d that he should be successful in his robbery. Such a paradox exists only when asleep, when reality is distorted. “And every entity of flesh will see that the mouth of Hashem speaks” (Isaiah 40, 5). Everyone will see clearly how the word of Hashem creates each and every being. This will be with the coming of Moshiach and the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi.
Not only will we see the Kovod Hashem but also how Hashem has a specific purpose for everything he creates.
When we consider the essence of golus, we realize that it is not natural for the Jewish people. Generally, people wish for a time of world peace. Interestingly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a time in history, in which there was complete peace world-wide.
Yet we all still believe.
Shabbos Chazon is the time to take this belief that we haven’t worked for -its embedded in our beings- and bring it into our daily lives and reality.
In this last century we have endured physical persecution like no other time, all the while singing the words of the Rambam, Ani Ma’amin.
I don’t know another period in history where basics of humanity is attacked. The very idea of a soul, G-d, is mocked. Yet despite these challenges Moshiach is on our lips constantly.
Achdus Yisroel and Ahavas Yisroel are being demonstrated more than ever.
It’s high time that this year the 9th of Av we should be with our final Beis Hamikdash.
Rabbi Mendel Kessler is the Director of the Chabad of Sedona in Sedona, Arizona.