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Dear  Naaleh Friend,

This week was a somber week for us as we experience the 9 days and prepare for Tisha B'Av.  Naaleh offers many shiurim that will inspire us during this time.  Today we feature one of the many classes on the Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av from the series  Jerusalem, Echoes of Lament: Tisha B'Av and the Three Weeks .   The class,  Feeling the Churban  by  Rebbetzin Heller, speaks about the sad atmosphere of the Three Weeks, and how we can feel the reality of destruction and exile.   To view the class click on the image below.


This week's edition of Torah Imecha on Parshat Devarim is available on our  Newsletter page  Click here  for the printer friendly version, to share at your Shabbat table! Be sure to visit the homepage as well, for many more inspiring Torah classes! 

Shabbat Shalom!

-Ashley Klapper and the Naaleh Crew
For Tehillim list please click here to view our Refuah Shleima page
Eicha- Echoing Questions Eternal Answers Class 6
Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Mrs. Shoshie
This class discusses Chapter 2, Verse 11 and 12. These verses evoke a strong image of tears and pain. " Klal Yisrael deals with the question of eicha again. How did this happen? "I cannot cry anymore. My tears are spent. My insides are churning and my liver has poured out to the ground because of the brokenness of my nation. The children suffer in the streets of the city and they call out to their mother, "Where is the grain, the wine, what happened to the good days?"

The Midrash notes that there are tears that are good and there are tears that are not good. There are good tears, tears caused by medicine or by a certain paste used to heal the eyes. But the tears caused by laughter is the most healthy. There are 3 types of bad tears, tears induced by smoke, tears induced by crying, and tears caused by stomach pains. But tears induced by the death of young people are the worst kind of tears. And these were the tears shed during the destruction. They were not just crying for the loss of the children, but for the future of Klal Yisrael . It is not until chapter 5 that the Megilah discusses a resolution how Klal Yisrael will move forward and rebuild through these very youth.

"How was it that the gold has become dark." During the time of the destruction, the way people looked, changed. The beautiful imprint of the tzadikim was altered. "Those who were compared to holy stones, the children, they poured out at the head of every street." When a child suffers and dies, it may be for the sins of their parents. If we care about our children we have to make the world one in which they don't suffer the consequences of our cruelty. The Second Temple was destroyed because of senseless hatred. Each time we hate senselessly we are cruel to our children. When we create systems that are cruel, it brings cruelty down from heaven. The walls grow higher separating us from Hashem.
"The children of Yerushalayim were so dear, they were worth their weight in gold. How was it that their enemies thought of them as nothing but broken china."  What draws us to a child is their soul. We see the Shechina in its most pure and innocent state. Our enemies saw only our bodies. "The tongue of the nursing baby stuck to his palate from thirst. Crawling children ask for bread. They stretch out their hand and there is no bread." The response from heaven to our cruelty is distance from Hashem until we do teshuva . We must be compassionate to others if we want compassion from Hashem. "Those who were accustomed to delicacies were confused with hunger. Those who would wear crimson garments embraced the trash pails.  In direct proportion to what they were used to, so was their desolation. This was a consequence of dedicating their life to material pleasure. If most of one's emotional energy is spent on physicality, there's not much left for anything deeper.
"The kings of the land could not believe that the enemies would open the gates of Yerushalayim." The nations knew it was a place where Hashem's presence could be felt and experienced. They didn't believe it could be taken by force. It all came from the sins of the false prophets, the sins of the priests of idol worship, who spilled the blood of tzaddikim . There were two kinds of false prophets, those who wanted money and prestige, and those who believed in their own false messages. When a person gets caught in the trap of the yetzer hara , he represses his intellect and acts on false images that are potent and destructive.

"Be happy, delight, daughter of Edom, she who sits in the land of Utz. The bitter cup will pass to you O' nations, you'll be drunk and poisoned."  We say rejoice now Esav because in the next world you will be destroyed. Now we are victims of exile but one day it will all be passed down to the nations who put us there. This is the prediction of the final redemption.  Esav despises Yaakov as they both want both worlds. If the Jews wanted only olam habah , Esav wouldn't care. But the Jews hold this world as precious too because it is a means towards an end. It's a way of bringing light to a dark place. We believe in spiritual evolution where that which is inanimate sustains growing matter which together sustains animal life which further sustains man, a servant of Hashem. When a Jew makes a blessing, the food becomes elevated. The force of Yaakov is his mouth meant to be sanctified through prayer and Torah study. Edom wants to conquer both worlds. They want to define spirituality on their material terms.  In the end we will see their downfall. It's an inherent part of redemption. The confusion engendered by their false ideologies will capitulate to the truth that will reign.

We have to defeat Edom from within us in order to bring about redemption. "You won't be exiled any longer because Edom's sin has been remembered by Hashem... Your sins will be revealed and known." At the end of time we will recognize that that which is pure and human and enduring is central, while everything physical is just a means for that to find expression.  
Building Ourselves Building Our Nation Part 2
Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

When the Jews crossed over the Yarden River, the brit areivut -the covenant of being accountable one for the other, came into effect. In the desert, if one person sinned, he alone was responsible. In Israel, everyone was punished. When the Jewish people entered the land, Yehoshua had them swear that all the spoils of war would be dedicated to Hashem. But Achan stole some of it and caused the enemies of Ai to gain the upper hand in battle. If you had lived during that time how would you have reacted to Achan? If you forgave him or had compassion on him, it wouldn't have meant justifying his sin, but rather feeling empathy for the sinner. If there is empathy, there cannot be hatred. Sinat chinam (senseless hatred) is losing our sense of chashivut (respect) for another person. We are all connected.

A basic rule in Mussar is that when you try to change someone it has to be through showing them respect. Respect means taking the person seriously. If you want to change someone talk to them on their level. Your compassion will tell you, that's what's needed. The sign that you see the chashivut in a person is when you are willing to do things for him. Compassion is the opposite of hatred. If you want to end sinat chinam, you have to change your speech patterns because what you say is your message to the world. When you say things that are negative, you're not only harming the individual about whom you are speaking, you are creating a backdrop, a world where Hashem's presence is concealed. The beit hamikdash was called levanon , a place of revelation, a place where Hashem pulled off our filthy clothing and purified us. When we speak loshon hara we're putting our filthy clothing right back on.

The Maharal recommends several ways to change one's speech pattern. The first is you have to believe it's possible to control your impulsivity. Often people say, "I didn't even realize I said it. The words just came out." We must realize that our power of speech separates us from the animals. Speech takes us into a world of intellectual and spiritual life, not just material life. When a person speaks loshon hara he's relating to the external of a person. We have to train ourselves to see deeper. The second thing is affirming the power of words.  Kalev ben Yefuna saw the Jews putting on filthy garments of lack of trust in Hashem. They didn't want to go into Eretz Yisrael after the spies had given their negative report. Kalev said, " Ki tova haaretz moed moed , the land is very good." He recognized the force of positive speech. The Gemara says that one's mouth was created for shirot v'tishbochot -song and praise. Underneath the filthy clothes of negativity and defensiveness, is the power to sing praises to Hashem. The last thing is recognizing that the beit hamikdash has a history connected to us. It was built in the merit of the avot . The avot are alive within us and we have to strive to recognize it and bring it forth with words.

I teach in Neve where some of the girls are off the derech . How do you get them to listen? You open the door by asking, "Who wants to pack boxes for Yad Eliezer?" And you begin to show them pictures and you talk to them about what it means to be poor so they tap into the fulfillment that comes from getting involved in chesed . When they see themselves doing good things you can talk to them about Shabbat. Everyone has a piece of the avot in them, the chesed of Avraham, the self -sacrifice of Yitzchak, and the broadness of Yaakov. Yaakov was expansive enough to see that each of his twelve sons was different in their mazal , personality, and life purposes and he blessed them according to their differences.

The beit hamikdash is called bayit , a home, a place where you do ordinary things. Hashem's presence should be real enough and deep enough so that you can experience Him even in something as mundane as brushing your teeth. Yearning for the beit hamikdash isn't something abstract. It's striving to see the goodness of Am Yisrael come forth in the place that will turn us white and sinless.

Rav Yitzchak David Grossman told a story about his father, a rosh yeshiva in Karlin, who traveled to South Africa a number of times to raise money.   Once he stayed for Shabbat and between Mincha and Maariv there was a long interval. He saw someone learning Gemara so he went over to him to speak in learning. It turned out that this man had learned in one of the great yeshivot in Europe. The next day there was no minyan. He went over to the gabbai and asked him, "Where's everyone?" The man answered, "In South Africa we work six days a week. They are at work." Then he asked, "Where's the man with whom I spoke in learning?" The gabbai appeared shamefaced, "Rebbe, please understand. He has a factory and he cannot close on Shabbat." The rosh yeshiva asked where the factory was and proceeded to walk two hours to get there. When he walked in he simply said, "Good Shabbos." The man began to cry. With his gesture of empathy, the rosh yeshiva took off the filthy clothing that was disguising this man's Jewish soul. Every one of us can do that.  

Featured Classes
Destructive Divisiveness The 3 Weeks
Mrs. Shira Smiles
Tisha B'Av
Teaching Our Children About the Churban Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
Parshas Devarim
 The Spiritual Wars of Israel
Rabbi Hershel Reichman
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