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Forms of Mourning: Sackcloth & Ashes II: Disconnected From My Light

Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding (Isaiah 3:24).”


“Instead of fragrance,” describes the Illumination of Chesed; just as an oil enhances one’s skin or surface and offers an external fragrance, so, too, the Attribute of Chesed enhances our physical container, the body, so that it can reflect one’s inner beauty.

“Instead of a sash,” describes the Illumination of, “Who girds Israel with strength,” that allows us to separate between the physical and spiritual.

“Instead of well-dressed hair,” refers to the Illumination of the Higher parts of our Neshama that form an aura of light over us, expanding into the Illuminations of Chayah and Yechidah, allowing our souls to connect to Spiritual Influences and Emanations hovering overhead.

“Instead of fine clothing,” refers to the Light of our Soul, with all its accomplishments and growth shining around us, as it is shining in its Root in the World Above, mentioned each morning in, “Who clothes the naked.”

“Sackcloth,” describes our Spiritual state when disconnected from the full expression of our Inner Light at the Root of our Soul (Rabbi Moshe David Vialli; Teshu’ot Olamim).

The sackcloth of Tisha B’Av is to reflect on all the Mitzvot we have observed and internalized, all the prayers that have nurtured our Inner Light, all the Torah study that allowed us to shine, and wonder where is all that Illumination; why can we not experience the accumulation of all our growth.

We lack the Beit Hamikdash, the place through which we connect Heaven and Earth and maintain all the light we have gained (Ramchal; Mishkinei Elyon).

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