By Rabbi Amichai Cohen
The 3 week period, which begins on the 17th of Tammuz and ends on the 9th of Av is an intense time where we remeber the calamaties which occured during this time.
On the 17th of Tammuz 5 negative things happened, most importantly the first tablets were broken, the walls of Jerusalem were breached.
On the 9th of Av is when both Temples were destroyed.
This period of time is called "Bein Hametzarim" or "within constrictions". Jewish law maintains that it is preferable not to embark upon new things such as getting married, moving or starting a new job.
The Talmud says "bad does not descend from heaven". So how do we reconcile with this seeming contradiction?
The Zohar recounts that when Rabbi Chayia, one of the foremost students of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai wanted to enter the academy of Rabbi Shimon in heaven he heard a heavenly voice say "one who does not know how to transform darkness into light and bitterness into sweet has no place in this world".
Meaning that paradise is not the "good and easy life" as we often think. Rather paradise at least that of rabbi Shimon's academy is the ability to transform bitterness into sweet.
The 3 weeks we are currently in are a process of transformation from destruction to rebuilding.
In his prophesy of the looming destruction, Jeremiah gives the allegory of an almond tree "just as an almond sprouts, so too G-d intends to bring the destruction upon you". In Hebrew almond translates into shaked שקד, which also translates into intends.
The almond is the fastest growing fruit. Within 21 days of budding the almond tree sprouts ready to eat fruit.
This is why the Kehuna- Priesthood and Aaron's choosing is compared to the almond tree.
The Mishnah says that there are 2 types of almonds 1. Luz 2. Shaked- almond. A luz almond begins as sweet and turns into bitter while the almond begins as bitter and transforms to become sweet.
These 21 days hold within them great potential as we learn to transform the bitterness of challenge and reveal the intention of transforming destruction into rebuilding.
May we see the ultimate rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash speedly now!
Check out the full recorded webinar class on this here: https://www.livekabbalah.com/products/webinars-classes/categories/581602/posts/2370364
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