Alignment in Language 

Experience is how we engage with the world around us; the exchange of verbal, non-verbal, and sensory input are interpreted by each of us, individually, into what we see as our world. No two people have the exact same life experience and those with like experiences may interpret the experience differently. As Jews, we are unique in that our lives revolve around laws, values, and character traits that provide a similar shaped lens of experience. Through our like view, we have similar alignment. Our communal interpretation is how we understand each other; in essence, a form of language that fosters our similarity.


Tisha B’Av offers each of us the opportunity to reflect on our many experiences and these reflections are how we facilitate language within the world around us. The lens by which we look, must align with our values of appreciation for what HaKadosh Baruch Hu (the Holy One Blessed Be He) has created for us. We must do this because even the complexity of our wisdom, physical and emotional intake of experiences, and our ability to interpret these, must be appreciated as a gift previously given by HaKadosh Baruch Hu.


Let us take for a moment our first experience immediately after birth. As infants, we know to use our bodily senses in order to discover and cling onto our mothers so that we may achieve the sustenance of milk that will come to nurture us. In order to do this, we, by nature, use the senses of smell, touch, and taste to discover the kindness that HaKadosh Baruch Hu has provided in sculpting our method of birth and sustenance. (Chovos HaLevavosShaar HaBechinah by OhrAvigdor, P.116) As for all experiences, appreciating and interpreting the experience occurs later in life. This instinctive response is a pleasantry that can only be appreciated at a distance. Later life experiences, through implementation of our values and traits, will build a lens of similarity to reflect on this service.


Through our Mesorah (heritage), Chazal (our sages) have laid a foundation to describe our experiences as a people. During the recitation of tefillah (prayer), Tehillim (Psalms), and other relevant works that are kodesh (sanctified), we become engaged with these previous experiences and are able to reflect and align their application to our current experiences. How often do our lives relive the reflection of Dovid HaMelech, (King David) “our mouths will fill with laughter, and our tongues with singing” (Tehillim, 126:2), as the foundation of our current experiences of simcha (joy) whether great or small. If not for this reflection and positive application of language viewed through observance of Jewish values, how foul would we leave the taste of our current experiences? Was it not precisely this lack of positive application of our language that is noted as the cause for the loss of our precious second Bais Hamikdash (Holy Temple)?


On Tisha B’Av, as we mourn our losses, we might ask: how do we find this positive application of language? A question Dovid HaMelech (King David) has asked before: “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chief’s joy” (Tehillm, 137:4-6). During this time, we are lost. We could sit and cry, and mourn, and we do. Yet, throughout this mourning experience, we are a united people; individually we experience life, united we must continue to support each other in galus (Diaspora). Rather than stand as an individual we must cling together to experience our living MesorahHaKadosh Baruch Hu has given us the responsibility to find the simchawithin the mourning, to experience both, in the unison of life.


This simultaneous application can only be fostered with the connection of the klal (unification of the People) through the language of our lives, the language of experience. We must remember all the experiences we have had as a people, establishing us as Klal Yisrael and connecting us to our home in Eretz Yisrael. We do this by connecting both individually and together as a united community worthy of the title Klal Yisrael (the entire Jewish people).


In our reflections on Tisha B’Av, we must create a dialogue, which will facilitate the development of the language we elicit. We seek to bridge our previous and present experiences into the character of the people we are as individuals in order to bring together a united community. We, as a people, recognize that regardless of our application or our ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as Jews, we are one of Klal Yisrael. Our spiritual connection is recited using the verbal passage “HaMakom yenachem otcha b'soch shaar avelei Tzion V'Yerushalayim” “May you be comforted among the mourners of Tzion and Jerusalem”. At a time of loss, we mourn as a nation, not as individuals. No matter where or when one experiences personal loss of family, this verse is recited in the house of the mourner. On Tisha B’Av, we are all mourners. We mourn our loss of connection to our brethren and ourBayis (home). Let us all speak, act, and accept the responsibility to hear and support each other to strive for growth as a people. For this, we must develop and make use of our similarities through our language.

                             Rebbitzen's Corner


                            THE AHAVAS YISRAEL PROJECT

YASHER KOACH to all the women who participated in our Chabura!

Current Lessons are taken from The AHAVAS YISRAEL PROJECT by: Sharon Warren. With Hashgama (approval) by the makers of The original AY Project.

                                      Join us again this Winter!



Click on the previous lessons below for a taste of our Shabbos experiences.                

Lesson #1 Introduction to the Ahavas Yisrael Chabura

Lesson #2 Love Your Fellow Jew as You Love Yourself Part 1

Lesson #3 Love your Fellow Jew as you Love Yourself Part 2

Lesson #4 Do Not Hate

Lesson #5  The Obligation to Give Rebuke Part 1

Lesson #6 All Jews are Responsible for One Another Part 2

Lesson #7 Judge all People Favorably

Lesson #8  Coveting the Possessions of Others

Lesson #9 Respecting Others Part 1

Lesson #10 Respecting Others Part 2

Lesson #11 Hurtful Speech

Sun, June 25 2017 1 Tammuz 5777