By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
On the 9th of Av we mourn the destruction of the two Holy Temples in Israel which were destroyed over 2000 years ago.
The Midrash tells a story, that when the second destruction was taking place, a local farmer who was able to recognize the language of the animals, heard about the destruction from one of his cows. As he was sharing this with one of his Jewish neighbors, the cow “spoke” again. The farmer tells his neighbor, “The cow just announced, the birth of the ultimate redeemer – Moshiach.”
The Talmud tells us that when the Romans entered the Holy of Holies, they saw the Cherubim in a hug with each other. They brought it out to the marketplace and ridiculed, “Look, what these people are occupied with!”
In the Talmud, it tells us, there was a whole host of miracles that took place in the Holy Temple on a regular basis. This was G-ds house, and the presence of G-d, brings experiences greater than the confines of nature.
In the most Holy of Places where the ark stood, although the ark itself had its own measurement, against the wall where it stood, when one measured from either side of the ark to the end of the wall, it was as if it took up no space at all.
Another miracle. On the Holidays, the curtain to the Holy of Holies would be opened, and if the Cherubim on top of the ark where facing each other, this would demonstrate, – “Look at how G-d loves you, and that you are pleasing to Him.”
However, if the Cherubim which were made from solid gold would be turned back to back, they would know, G-d is not happy with them and that they are not doing the proper things.
So the question is asked. If when the cherubim are face to face this demonstrates the love G-d has for the Jewish people, “why were they facing each other at one of the most severe and stern moments in Jewish History?” The destruction of the temple was prophesized by Jeremiah and Isaiah as a punishment for not serving G-d in the proper manner?
Here, we can understand as well the meaning to the first story.
Chassidus explains, that even when things on the surface appear bad and bitter, there is destruction taking place, and the light at the end of the tunnel has already been put in place. “G-d always precedes the cure to the malady”, and deep down in the experience and circumstances, there is always a positive reason and a positive productive purpose behind all that’s happening.
The purpose of the difficulty and hardships is to refine areas of ourselves and the world, which we would not reach if not for the hardships. Contained within the difficulties and persecutions, in the rot and destruction is where the growth and greatest produce is able to be realized.
In Mysticism, the expression is, the higher the spark the lower it falls. Looking from the other angle, which would mean, when we encounter matters that appear so low, at its lowest point, in truth it comes from a very high source, and in the hardship lies already planted the highest most powerful redeeming value. At the time that we are going through our hardships, we must realize, G-d is doing this because he loves us, and He knows the greater potential we have to draw and extract from this condition.
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