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Kinah 1-Introduction-Theme

1) Based on Chapter 5 of Eicha. 2) Midah Kineged Midah:


3) Rambam: “There are days

on which all Jews fast because of all the troubles that occurred on those days. This is to stir their hearts to open to the paths of Teshuva and to remember our evil actions and those of our fathers’ whose ways were similar to ours now. These sins caused these troubles for them and for us.” The purpose of fasting is to remember our sins and to repent. One of the keys is to realize how each suffering was a direct response to a sin. This Kinah lists terrible things that happened to us and which sin they were a response to.


4) There is another level to the above thought: God is articulate. Therefore, if something terrible happens to us we can assume that God is being very clear about what we are doing wrong. If we don’t understand, it is because we are deaf.  It is not because God isn’t clear. This Kinah is articulating what should have been clear to us and to remind us to apply the same system of thinking to all things that happen to us.

5) We can develop this to yet another level: Each and every action creates a spiritual reality in the worlds above us. The Ramchal explains how our actions affect the Transcendental Forces that influence this world. When we attach to God we influence those Forces and they in turn send good back to us. When we sin, we increase negative influences from those forces and the world around us will suffer. When we say that there is direct Divine Retribution we are referring to these forces. This Kinah is articulating the negative impact of each sin. The Kinah is describing what we created for ourselves through our destructive actions.

It is important to remember that this is not only a negative. This concept is a very powerful gift and tool that we can use with each mitzvah we perform, each time we pray and every time we study Torah. We create positive spiritual forces that influence all of creation whenever we do something the draws us closer to God. We tend to forget the power of our Mitzvot, our prayers and Torah study. We lose a sense of our importance to all of creation and of the power we have when serving God. We make a difference to the entire world when we fulfill God’s Will. Part of the destruction is the loss of this awareness which permeated those who lived with the Temple in their midst.

Hilchot Ta’aniot, Chapter 5, Paragraph 1

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