Moshiach is born on Tisha B’Av… (Brochos:Yerushelami)
Tisha B’Av is the darkest time of the Jewish calendar. Too many major tragedies coincide with that date. It’s a time when we hunker low and brace ourselves for yet another great wave of the unthinkable, we hope will never happen. Yet, our sages tell us that Moshiach is born on this auspicious day. What can that possibly mean? Should we be tracking children for whom, that is their birthday? I think not! Then of what practical value is the information that Moshiach is born on Tisha B’Av!?
It was the last light before the last day of school, a Wednesday evening. The latest rage became to give each child a special recognition for a unique quality that he or she exemplified. The idea was that everyone should feel included in the honors. Parents were excited, kids were being validated, and teachers were relieved of the pressure of choosing the few. This was the final event before the school year clock would expire the next day. The Rebbe of the 6th grade had planned an elaborate speech about each child and with a combination of different awards. Each child was called up amidst personal praise, to receive his badge or trophy, and to get his picture taken. Every three or four names was accompanied by a special song and so the evening unfolded. After all the pomp and circumstance, everyone was invited to partake of the food, parents, friends, and family members, and then the class slideshow would top off the show.
As people were already hungrily filling the plates an older sister of one of the boys approached in a state of semi-panic. “My brother’s name was not called!” “Where is he now?” I asked. “Downstairs!” she told me. I bolted out of the room and I found Daniel, red eyed, and devastatingly humiliated. I immediately acknowledged his pain. “You must feel terrible!”
Then I did something highly unusual. I asked him for a Brocho, a special blessing that my daughter should find a good Shidduch. I had often throughout the year shared with boys who felt insulted, a story about Reb Chaim that advised a childless couple to look for someone who had a deep embarrassment and did not respond in kind, and from them receive a Brocho for children, and how it had miraculously worked. Daniel was in the pits. The embarrassment was profound. He blessed me that daughter should find a Shidduch. I said, “AMEN!” I marched him up and announced to the crowd that Daniel gave me a Brocho that my daughter should find a Shidduch. It felt foolish but I thought somehow it would lift him up. The Rebbe bathed him with praise. We sang and danced but he was still aching deep inside.
A short while later my daughter began dating a fine young man. The introduction was made by a mutual friend who only thought of the idea when she entered a store my wife was temporarily working in. As the dating started to get more serious, I decided to play historian. I asked my wife if should could identify the date that this woman walked into the store and declared, “I thought I came here to buy something, but maybe I came here for something else.”My wife checked on her text messages when the woman had requested the Shidduch resume’ to be sent and it turned out that she had come into the store on Thursday morning. It was actually the same day that the boy gave his Brocho, since the Jewish day starts with evening and is followed by day.
The sister of the boy told me, when I called to tell her the good news, that my daughter was engaged, that she had been telling her brother, “Who knows, maybe Rabbi Lam’s daughter will become a Kallah!” Who of us suspected it would happen so soon!? From the depth of hurt so much good was found. Not only did the pain desist but it has been replaced with genuine joy! DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.