You mentioned before the national tragedy of the 10 tribes going into Exile. Why didn’t Chazal establish a mourning commemoration for the galus of the Aseres Hashvotim, for the loss of these 10 tribes?
That’s a very important question. Briefly the answer is this: Why isn’t there a separate commemoration of the Galus Bavel and also the galus that took place after Churban Bayis Sheini; besides for the burning of the Mikdash, eventually, over a period of time the Jews were driven out of all of Eretz Yisroel. So why don’t we have a special commemoration for those events too? Golus Aseres Hashvotim and two separate exiles from Eretz Yisroel?
The answer is, one is enough. It’s difficult enough for us to do justice in general to the Churban. It is a very heavy burden to have to mourn. Mourning is heavy on the Jewish soul and it is not the derech hatorah. The derech hatorah is עבדו את השם בשמחה – we must have a happiness; it is a Toras Chaim, we must live in joy.
And therefore, they made one period of mourning and it covers everything. On Tisha B’Av when you sit on the ground, you are not only weeping for the churbanos of the two Beis Hamikdosh; you are weeping also for what took place in Europe. We mention Kehal Magentza and Kehal Ashpira (Mainz and Speyer), all the beautiful kehillos that once existed in Europe. And now we weep also על בית ישראל ועל עם השם שנפלו בחרב, for everything that went lost as the result of the very last holocaust in Europe.
So everything is included in one; because if we are going to make commemorations of all our disasters, then the whole Jewish calendar would be a time of mourning. There would be three weeks here and three weeks here and three weeks there. It’s enough what we have. It’s a pity enough to see people walking around sad during the three weeks; you can’t go bathing, you can’t have simchas, and you can’t take a haircut. It’s enough; it’s enough. The Am Yisroel is not a people of mourning; they are people of happiness. A frum Jew is a cheerful Jew.
I once told you; I was walking through Williamsburg and it was remarkable. People were standing on the corners laughing and joking. Men with big beards, women with fatchailahs on their heads; everybody is happy! A happy nation! They aren’t rich people but they are good natured; they’re happy. שִׂמְחוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּה – Tzaddikim are happy in Hashem; it is a remarkable thing.
It’s a remarkable thing! You’ll find a lot of good humor there. Gemütlichkeit! רַנְּנוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּהשם! Constantly you will find that. And therefore, Hakodosh Boruch Hu measured out a certain amount and that is enough to be yotzei for all of the things we went through.
TAPE # 604 (July 1986)