The Nine Days
After the Torah reading Monday morning a young man in our minyan said the blessing thanking Hashem for saving his life. He told us that he was riding his bicycle into town (Jerusalem) and somehow got in between two Light Rail Trains! When the trains pass each other they are, at the most, only two or three feet apart so it's a wonder that he wasn't (G-d forbid) killed.
Beside the question how could he be so foolish as to be riding his bicycle like that, there are two questions he has to ask himself. What did he do wrong to bring such a life-threatening situation upon himself, and what did he do right that Hashem saved his life.
Everything we see comes to teach us something. All the more so, anything that actually happens to us comes for a specific reason. Hashem sends it all with specific intention. Nothing just falls out of the sky by accident.
We ask the same thing about the Nine Days, the Destruction, this Exile. What did we, the Jewish People, do to deserve this horrible 2,000 years of exile…, and what did you and I do to deserve to be able to be in Jerusalem today.
The Prophets told us the Land would be desolate until right before the final Redemption. Indeed, the Land was desolate, but now we are living in the Land. Today, more Jews live in Israel than in any other country in the world. Within a very short time the majority of the Jews in the world will be living in Israel. Today
Israel is a major exporter of vegetables and wine. The Land is flourishing. You and I will live to see the Temple and all that it will bring.
We are so very sorry for what we did wrong…and we are so very thankful for having been forgiven.