Matot Massei: Why Are We Still Crying? Roots of Trauma



What would you tell someone you cared about who experienced a loss and could not stop grieving for years on end? Someone who wanted to continue sitting shiva, G-d forbid, not for seven days, but for seventy years?

Out of deep empathy (not indifference) you would gently and sensitively encourage your friend to move forward and rebuild his life. Because just as it is unhealthy to under grieve (and prematurely abort the cathartic process), it is equally unhealthy to over grieve.

And yet, 2,000 years since its destruction, we still find ourselves mourning the loss of the holy Temple during this saddest period of the Jewish calendar, the Three Weeks!

Torah law actually explicitly forbids one from over grieving – from mourning a loved one for more than seven days. And here we are sitting shiva for over 19 centuries… And for what? For a physical structure, not a life! Isn’t it unhealthy to wallow in misery for so long?!

What is the meaning behind this period in time? What life affirming lessons can we learn from the sad Three Weeks?

This sermon analyzes the five tragic events that took place on the 17th of Tammuz, demonstrating that these events are actually the five elements that lie at the roots of all our trauma and pain. And that by understanding the root causes, we have a chance to repair them as they manifest in our daily lives today.




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