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stock up for winter

Thursday, 30 July, 2015 - 1:20 pm

 After the fast of Tisha b’Av this past Sunday night, I was very thankful!
    Thank G-d I do not know what true hunger means.
    Thank G-d I was afforded the opportunity to be a Chabad Rabbi and (backed by the support of the Chai Partners and many of you) am on the giving end of helping the homeless, the infirm and those in recovery.

Today (Friday) is the 15th day of the month of Av. The Talmud tells us that the best days for the Jews were the fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur. Why is that? The 15th of Av is the last day on which wood may be cut for the Altar in the Bais Hamikdash. As the heat of summer starts to wane, and the rainy season begins, they did not want the (cut) wood to get wormy and/or moldy. The Jews made sure to stock up, in the summer to have enough wood to last the year.

There are many commentaries who explain why this was turned into a great celebration, yet we will focus on its lesson for us.

On occasion, we need to absorb and internalize a message so that we can fall back on it at a later time of need. When we are fired up and inspired, we need to grab that branch of warmth and passion, cut it down and keep it safe and dry. Keep it for a time later on when we feel cold and wet. At that later time we can use this inspiration to rekindle a fire and make it burn.  We can use it to make sacrifices and be passionate about our heritage.

So at the end of the fast, I took a moment to pack that appreciation away for a time when there will be challenges and to remember how blessed I am.

Count your blessings!

Take an inspired moment, make note of it and use it to be reinvigorated in a time of need.

Have a good Shabbos.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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