The Ninth of Av 5761

Elad Fogel, age 4

his big brother Yoav, 11


We say, “משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה — when Adar comes in, we increase in joy.” But this year, like too many years, Adar brought with it events that more fit our saying for this month. “משנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה — when Av comes in, we decrease in joy.”

baby Hadas

Bruria and her husband, Rabbi Meir, had two sons who both died Friday afternoon, just before Shabbos. Bruria refrained from telling her husband of the tragedy during Shabbos, a time when one cannot hold a funeral or to mourn openly. Since there was nothing he could do, why should Rav Meir be told now, and his Shabbos ruined? After Shabbos, she opened with a halachic question: If one person borrows two jewels from another and then the original owner requests that the return of the jewels, what is the borrower to do? Rav Meir replied, obviously, that one is obligated to return them. Beruria then took her husband to where their two dead sons lay and said, “God has requested that we return the loan of our two jewels.” (Medrash on Mishlei 31:10)

Leiby Kletzky, almost 9

כָּלוּ בַדְּמָעוֹת עֵינַי
חֳמַרְמְרוּ מֵעַי
נִשְׁפַּךְ לָאָרֶץ כְּבֵדִי,
עַל שֶׁבֶר בַּת-עַמִּי;
בֵּעָטֵף עוֹלֵל וְיוֹנֵק,
בִּרְחֹבוֹת קִרְיָה.

My eyes have run out of tears,
my innard burn,
my liver is poured upon the earth,
for the shattering of the daughter of my people;
because the young children and the sucklings are missing
from the broad places of the city.

– Eikhah 2:11

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  1. Neil Harris says:

    I am just catching up to way too many posts in googlereader.
    Sorry I didn’t see this before Tuesday, but powerful on any day, really.

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