We enter into the month of Av, still in exile, still without our Temple, and still weeping. The Beit HaMikdash was so much more than just another building. Our Temple was a microcosm of the entire world! As King David says, “How shall we sing Hashem’s song in a foreign land?” (T’hillim 137:4) Our people have suffered so much since then, to name only a few, the Inquisition, the pogroms, the Holocaust, and now the annihilation through assimilation.
In order to continue forward, we must strengthen our emuna that Hashem has not forgotten us and that we are still deeply connected to Him. After so long and so much pain and suffering, we may begin to doubt our status with Hashem.
Rebbe Levi Yitzchak admits that we are still in exile, thrown out of Hashem’s House, and kicked out of His Land. Although it appears as if we have lost Hashem’s love, yet, deep down inside, we know He still loves us. How do we know? Because we have never stopped receiving Hashem’s love letters.
Deep within the darkness of this long exile, our souls still cry out to Hashem, responding to the daily call from Him that has never ceased, “Return, My wayward children” (Yirmiyahu 3:24). How do we know that Hashem is still calling out to us to return to Him? We just need to look around us to see how many of our people are returning to Hashem — from ba’alei t’shuva, to converts, to those born and raised within the fold.
Although it may appear as if, G-d forbid, Hashem has forgotten us, He is still calling us. Hashem has never stopped sending us love letters to return to Him, and our people are responding! As we enter another month of Av, may we strengthen our emuna in Hashem and help those who may still be living in the darkness of this long exile to hear Hashem’s call, “Return, My wayward children!”
Based on Sparks from Berditchov, Based on the Teachings of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov, by Yaakov Klein, Parshas Matos