The gemara tells us that Rabbi Tzaddok fasted forty years before the Churban Beis Hamikdash in order to try and help avert the coming catastrophe. But doesn’t that mean that was probably a depressed and gloomy tzaddik?
I wasn’t there, but I guarantee he wasn’t. I guarantee he was more happy than we are with all of our breakfasts and lunches and suppers. Because it’s not breakfast and lunch and supper that makes you happy. איזהו עשיר השמח בחלקו – it’s the mind that makes you happy. And this tzaddik, he had to eat of course; every night he ate. And when he sat down at night, he enjoyed his little piece of bread to no end. A piece of bread and a cup of water, it tasted good! He never tasted anything as good as it tasted to him that night. Every night he enjoyed his supper. Don’t think Rebbi Tzodok sat down and said, “Feh!” No! He was looking forward to that piece of bread and he enjoyed it. He wasn’t gloomy at all!
That’s why I say, Motzai Tisha B’Av, don’t lose the opportunity. It’s a lesson you’re getting, to once more appreciate food. Tisha B’Av night we should utilize that. Motzai Tisha B’Av, as you sit down to your bread and your water, you should enjoy it no end, because the purpose of fasting is not merely to fast. It’s to let us know that Hakodosh Boruch Hu is the One who is gomel chassodim tovim, Heisbestowing kindness. And therefore fasting in order to enjoy the food is not a wasted effort. You never heard that before, did you? Fasting in order to enjoy the food on Motzai Tisha B’Av! It’s a very important lesson. That’s one of the byproducts of a taanis tzibur.
TAPE # 796