Sunday, July 22, 2007
The Nesivos Shalom – Why Are We Mourning?
Today, the 7th of Av, is the seventh yahrzeit of Rebbe Shalom Noach Brazovsky ZTUK”L, the Slonimer Rebbe. Through his voluminous writings, the Rebbe was among the most influential of contemporary Chassidic Rebbes, and his impact was felt among Chassidim and non-Chassidim alike. A leading Lithuanian (non-Chassidic) Rosh Yeshiva in Israel reportedly referred to R. Brazovsky's work Nesivos Shalom as the "Mesilas Yesharim of our times." (Mesilas Yesharim is a classic Mussar work written in the 18th century.)
R. Brazovsky also authored many volumes of his own teachings, including the seven-volume Nesivos Shalom and many smaller works on educational issues, marital harmony and other issues. One distinguishing feature of those works is R. Brazovsky's practice of deriving practical moral and ethical teachings from verses using traditional Chassidic methods of interpretation.
R. Brazovsky served as the Slonimer Rebbe from his father-in-law's death in 1981 until his own passing in the year 2000. He is succeeded by his son, R. Shmuel.
Why Are We Mourning?
“Mourning is (ultimately) not a matter of the past but over the future; it’s a matter of repentant determination to repair all that prevents, at this very moment, the building of the Holy Sanctuary. And this matter pertains to each and every individual. The fact that one’s personal holy Sanctuary is not yet built, that he feels a dearth of Divine enlightenment – behold (the yearning to change that) is the essence of mourning!”
"The entire process of creating the renewed edifice of the Holy Temple, and the redemption from the Exile of the Divine Presence, occurs by means of the mourning and the prayers of Israel. It is this (energy) that draws down the building of the Holy Temple. (…Their personal) anticipation of Salvation is the force which draws it down. From this the actual building of the Holy Temple occurs."