Simcha In The Month Of Av?

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 27/7/2019

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Simcha In The Month Of Av?

When a leader is in his palace and has all he wants, he is happy and feels in need of no one. However, when he feels a lack he may call in his servants to sing and cheer him up. In a similar vein, Hashem feels ‘low’ since there is no Beis Hamikdash. This is especially so during the three weeks.[1] Therefore, we need to give ‘Chizuk’ to Hashem as it says תנו עז לאלה-ים; give strength to Hashem.[2] This is done through doing Avodas Hashem with enthusiasm and happiness. With this, we can appreciate a deeper meaning in עבדו את ה' בשמחה-[3] the purpose of Avoda is to do it in a way that it gives Simcha to Hashem.

  

The Gemara[4] tells us משנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה; when the month of אב comes in we diminish our Simcha. This can also mean that when אב comes in we diminish in our pleasures- no meat, showering and the like. How should this be done?[5] בשמחה.[6] In fact, the Chazon Ish tells us a remarkable insight. A Navi is required to be בשמחה when he gets a prophesy. Consequently, Yirmiya had to be בשמחה when he wrote Eicha![7]

 

The name given to this month is מנחם אב. That is to say, we need to console Hashem, our father in heaven.
R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.


[1] See the Koznitzer Magid in his Sefer Avodas Yisrael, Masei

[2] Tehillim 68:35

[3] Tehillim 100:2

[4] Taanis 26b

[5] R’ Shwab points out that the Gemara says in Adar we increase in Simcha whereas in Av we decrease in Simcha. We see that a Jew must always have Simcha.

[6] We lessen the mourning by being בשמחה.

[7] When there is meaning in suffering one can be בשמחה and it is no contradiction.




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