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The Tenth of Tevet: Beyond The Walls Print E-mail
Written by Machberes Avodas Hashem   

destructionWe just finished celebrating Chanukah; the festival where we publicize the miracle of expansiveness. The few who vanquished the many, the small jar of oil that lasted eight days.

We strengthened our belief in transcending what we perceive as limited.

And now, we are a few days from the fast of the Tenth of Tevet. The fast commemorating the day our enemies lay siege around Jerusalem. A siege is the the epitome of limitations. It is the physical symbol of an uncrossable boundary; something that does not allow movement, something that restricts us and inexorably stifles us. It is the anti-Chanukah.

What happened? Were we able to hold on to the feeling that nothing is impossible? Were we able to live with the reality of expansiveness, of becoming vessels for God's immeasurable gifts? Were we able to build upon the existing foundation? Or did we fall back into old patterns? Did we impose a siege on our own growth? Boundaries that prevent any dynamic exchange between us and the world, between us and God?

We mourn the siege the Babylonians imposed on our ancestors which lead to the destruction of the Temple.

We reflect on the limitations we impose on ourselves.

Yet, at the same time, we can look forward to the potential of this day, when the fast will be transformed into a day of celebration.

A day when we will realize that we don't even need a wall. A day when our lives will be so expansive that it will be impossible to delimit them. A day when, as in Zecharya's prophecy, Jerusalem will be beyond measurements.

"Jerusalem will be settled beyond its walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock within it. And I will be for it a wall of fire" (Zechariah 2:8-9).

In the future, Jerusalem will expand and rise until it will reach the Throne of Glory. The exiles will return and say to God: The place is too crowded! And God will raise them up to the first level of Heaven. More will return from the exile and God will raise them to the second level of Heaven. And so on until they reach the Throne of Glory' (Shir Hashirim Rabah 7:5).

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