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Sunday, July 7, 2013

The New Moon of Menachem Av with Venus

Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av is this Sunday night and Monday. The new moon will usher in the month of Av, more fully called Menachem Av, the consolation of Av, when the Jewish people seek consolation from G-d for the loss of the two holy temples that were destroyed on the 9th of Av. It is also the day the spies that Moses sent to spy out the land of Israel returned with an evil report that caused the Jews to wander in the desert for 40 years.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that the spies returned with an evil report because the people did not want to loose their spiritual connection to G-d and the Torah. In the desert all of their needs were taken care of, leaving them free to study Torah night and day. The well of Miriam provided water, the Manna fell from heaven, their clothes and shoes did not age or wear out.

We see from the result how wrong they were. It was time for them to share the burden of peoplehood and statehood. It was time for them to stop living off the freely-given food and drink of G-d. It was time to give up some of their study time to nation building and statecraft.

How similar to those ancient times are the times of today. The Chareidi Jews are like the Jews of the Exodus from Egypt. All of their needs are taken care of. They are give food and water freely as Miriam's well water and G-d's Manna. They can spend all of their time studying Torah with all of their needs cared for.

Yet their sin is the sin of the spies, the greatest sin of that generation. It is time to give up the Manna; it is time to give up Miriam's spring; it is time to give up all Torah study. It is time to join the People of Israel, time to become a nation; time to work for your bread and water; time to defeat the Cannaaites, time to join in building a nation, develop statecraft, and leave the Torah study of the desert of exile behind. Not to do so will be to repeat the sin of the Spies, a sin for which we are still punished to this day.

Don't forget to go out on Thursday night, July 11, just after dark and observe the waxing crescent moon shinning next to bright Venus. The moon will then be 3.17 days old and heading toward the fast of Av on the 9th of the month. May this beautiful sight and Venus be the "star coming out of Jacob" that will herald the coming of Mashiach and the Messianic age. Then the Chareidim can return to their all torah-study way of life.

The 3 day old new moon of Menachem Av shines next to Venus (right of the moon) on Thursday night, July 11th. Go out and look for it starting around 8:15pm.

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