1 Av 5776, Matot

We are very excited to have launched Maroubra Shule’s new website this past week! If you haven’t already seen it, please check it out! My hope is that it will not only provide vital information about the happenings at the shul but also serve as a platform for the sharing of information and inspirational thought!

“When the month of Av enters, we reduce our joy.”(Talmud, Taanit 26b)

The entire month of Av is considered to be an inopportune time for Jews. It was in these nine days that we lost both our ancient Temples and our nation was cast into a long and arduous exile. Our sages advised that a Jew who is scheduled to have a court hearing—or anything of a similar nature—against a gentile during this month should try to postpone it until after Av, or at least until after the Nine Days. In addition, the following customs are observed during these days to lessen the extent of our rejoicing:

1. No eating meat or wine (symbols of luxury and enjoyment).

2. No listening to music.

3. No adorning ourselves with perfumes and bathing unnecessarily (however for cleanliness, this is permitted).

4. No wearing freshly laundered or new clothes.

5. We also avoid making large transactions during these days or going on long and/or dangerous trips.

The good news is, that over Shabbat, these restrictions are relaxed! You see it is a mitzvah to rejoice on Shabbat and that trumps everything else. In fact, the saddest day in our calendar, the ninth day of Av, actually falls out next week on Shabbat. But so great is the power of Shabbat, that the fast is actually pushed off until the Sunday and we rejoice a little bit extra on the Shabbat day in its place!

Why is all mourning suspended on Shabbat?

The Kabbalists have explained that though these days and weeks heralded an exile rife with persecution and spiritual estrangement, it is our belief that ultimately this all served a purpose which we currently have no understanding of. However, the time will come when we will understand that all the pain and difficulties were necessary in order to reach the ultimate good. At that time, the prophets foretell, these sorrowful days will be transformed into days of joy.
Every Shabbat constitutes a foretaste of the Messianic Era. As such, on Shabbat, we only focus on the positive element of this period.

I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *