Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Why the FAST will Become a FEAST
Published: Thursday, June 28, 2018 10:19:47 PM
Number of views: 1614

Zechariah 8:19 states, “Thus speaks Hashem of Hosts, the fast of the fourth month [Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz] and the fast of the fifth month [Tish’ah B’Av] and the fast of the seventh month [Tzom Gedaliah] and the fast of the tenth month [Asarah B’ Teves] will one day turn into days of joy and celebration for the House of Yehudah, provided that the people will learn to love truth and peace.” The theme that sorrow will one day not only give way to joy but actually turn into joy is a basic principle of Judaism.

An example of this idea appears in Yirmiyahu 31:12. “Then [in the Messianic Era] the young women will dance joyously; young men and elders together. I [G-d] will turn their mourning to joy. I [G-d] will comfort them and cheer them in their grief and sorrow.”

This verse echoes clearly the statement that we saw expressed by Zechariah. Yirmiyahu is not predicting some new, joyous celebration with no roots in the past. Rather, G-d will turn the mourning of centuries of exile into joy and celebration.

These joyous prophesies of Zechariah and Yirmiahu will be fulfilled in the Messianic Era.

Why is it that in the time of Mashiach these former mournful fast days, commemorating the CHURBAN, will become joyous festivals and not just ordinary days? Why will these FAST DAYS become FEAST DAYS when Mashiach comes?

The answer is that these sorrowful tragic days will assume their original intent.

The 17th of Tammuz was the date of the giving of the Tablets of the Ten Commandments that was supposed to be a day of great joy and celebration, when G-d gave us His Luchot written by the Finger of G-d”. However, that is also the very day that we worshipped the Golden Calf and Moshe smashed G-d’s Holy Tablets.

Moshe has to re-ascend Mt. Saini and plead for G-d’s forgiveness for the Jewish People. The Second Tablets were not given until Yom Kippur. When we do Teshuvah and Merit the arrival of Mashiach, we will have fully rectified and repaired the Sin of the Golden Calf. Thus, in the Messianic Era, the 17th of Tammuz will assume its original character, a day of joyous feasting celebrating the giving of the First Holy Tablets.

Tisha B’Av also was supposed to be the day that we resolved to enter the Land of Israel and conquer it. The Sin of the Spies, in slandering the Holy Land, took place on Tisha B’Av. The spies negative report prevented the Jewish people from entering the Land of Israel on Tisha B’Av.

When Mashiach comes, we will have rectified this Sin of the Spies also.

Thus Tisha B’Av will also assume its original intention of joyous national celebration of appreciating and cherishing the Holy Land of Israel!

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