Tuesday, July 14, 2015
why we mourn
The gemara (Sanhedrin 104) explains the double mention of crying in the pasuk in Eichah, “Bachoh tivkeh ba’laylah, ” as referring to Rabban Gamliel and his neighbor. Rabban Gamliel lived next door to a mother who had lost her young chuld. She would sit and cry all night, and when Rabban Gamliel would hear her crying, he would in turn start cry over the destruction of the Beis haMikdash. The gemara relates that he cried so much that his eyelashes even fell out.
Our community had the privilege of hearing from R’ Asher Weiss on Sunday night. He asked what the relationship is between this poor mother’s crying and the churban. A child can r”l die anywhere and at any time. That tragedy does not seem to have anything to do with the the loss of korbanos, the loss of the kohen gadol, etc., all the things we think of when we think of when we think about the churban habayis. Why are these mother’s tears immortalized in a pasuk in Eichah and why did they inspire Rabban Gamliel to cry over the churban?
R’ Asher Weiss answered that the nevuos that speak about geulah actually speak very little about korbanos. What they speak about is the establishment of a utopian society where goodness and peace reign supreme and G-d’s presence is felt in every area of life. That is what we are missing due to hester panim and galus, both the result of the churban. The tragedy of a child dying and the many other tragedies large and small that we experience and hear about are all due to that concealment of G-d’s presence that came about when the Beis haMikdash was destroyed. That is why when Rabban Gamliel heard that poor mother crying, he cried as well, mourning for the churban, mourning for the hester panim that is the cause of so many sorrows.