Next Sunday night and Monday is Tisha B’av. The ninth day of the Jewish month of Av.
The saddest day in the Jewish calendar.
Many tragedies happened to the Jewish People on that day throughout history.
Including the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by the Romans in the year 70.
… For two thousand years Jews have fasted, sat on the floor and mourned.
But they also reflected on the miracle of Jewish survival.
How we survived the worst the world threw at us.
And proved to be the Eternal People as the Torah promised.
… This past Shabbat I was walking to synagogue.
One of the nice things about a neighborhood with many people walking to synagogue?
Saying “Good Shabbos” or “Shabbat Shalom” to people you meet.
Whether you know them or not!
And I often have a dilemma when I see someone who is not Shabbat observant.
“To say. Or not to say!”
Should I say Good Shabbos? Or good morning?
I never know what will make them more comfortable.
And I’ve heard it go both ways.
If you say good morning?
“You think I don’t know its Shabbat? I’m also Jewish”?
And if you say Good Shabbos?
“Are you preaching to me”?
I really don’t know the answer and “go with my gut”
And hope for the best!
… This past Shabbat I saw a fellow approaching.
And there wasn’t much time to “analyze the situation”.
I said to myself, “I think this a good morning.”
So I smiled and said, “Good morning”.
The fellow looked at me. Returned my smile. Hesitated for a second.
And said, “Good Shabbos”.
In a very heavy Russian accent!
He’s a walking miracle.
And I felt like hugging him!
The Soviet Union was one of the most powerful empires in the history of the world.
It tried to destroy all religion. Especially Judaism.
And it came close to succeeding.
And it is now the “Former Soviet Union”!
… I get “goose pimples” when I see Russian Jews in Synagogue.
Or hear Talmud discussed with a Russian accent.
But I also get inspired by a simple “Good Shabbos”.
Because it is not just a Good Shabbos.
It translates into something else.
“Am Yisroel Chai.
The Jewish People live!”
All the best,