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The Secret of Tisha B'Av
By Tvi Hirsch
In the Chassidic courts all around the world, it is the custom that on the holy days as well as on the Shabbat, the various Rebbes, the leaders of the various Chassidic communities make a "tish". A "tish" is Yiddish for table, but in Chassidic terms a "tish" means a get together when the Chassidim come to sit at a table with their rebbe. Perhaps in olden times one large table was sufficient, but today, many tables are put together and then covered with a white cloth. On three ends of this large table sit the Chassidim, and often, there are many who also stand due to lack of sitting room. I have even been to tishis (plural) when 'bleachers' are used. Bleachers here refer to staggered tiered standing area build to accommodate many hundreds of Chassidim who which to stand around their rebbe's tish to soak up the holiness that permeates the room.
These Chassidim come to hear their rebbe explain to them the particulars of the holiness of the holiday or of the Shabbat and of the week's Torah portion. Often the rebbes will reveal secrets of holiness that are soon deep that the angels will come down from heaven to hear these secrets revealed; secrets so deep that even up in heaven they must descend to hear mortal men reveal them.
Only on Tisha B'Av, the ninth of the Jewish month of Av, the month in which the holy temple was destroyed, and a time which the prophets called a "moed" a holiday, there is no tish in any of the Chassidic courts. Tisha B'Av is a day of national mourning for the loss of our holy Temple; it is a day of fasting and mourning. On this holiday although the tishes down here are empty, up above in heaven there is a great tish to which all the angels come to hear the holy words being spoken up there.
On this great and holy day we must lift ourselves up and rise up for the occasion in order that we can hear the holy words about this day. There is an explanation of all the suffering, of all that still is unrevealed but it is not down here, it is up there. Remember that on this day there is no tish below, today there is a tish above.
from the July 2009 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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