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A Midrash for Monday (#7)

by Ozer Bergman

A Midrash for Monday

“The roads of Zion mourn” (Lamentations 1:4).

Rav Huna says, “Everything in Creation seeks to fulfill its purpose. In order to have puppies, a pet lapdog went out to a cliff in the wilderness to give itself to a male.”

Rav Ami says, “Even cedar trees want to fulfill their purpose. This is why they rejoiced when Nebuchadnezzar died (see Isaiah 14:8)—the clear-cutting of their forests would finally stop!”

Rav Avdimi of Haifa says, “Even roads want to fulfill their purpose, as is written, “The roads of Zion mourn because there are no festival pilgrims.” The verse doesn’t say because there are no “toll-keepers” or no “nobility.” It’s because “festival pilgrims,” the Jews who would come to Jerusalem to celebrate the three chagim (festivals, holidays), Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, no longer come.

“…her gates are desolate” (ibid.)—the gates of Jerusalem are distraught because there aren’t people entering and exiting.

Rebbe Nachman says (Tzaddik #315) that the roads leading to a tzaddik ask the same question: There aren’t as many people coming as before! Why did so-and-so stop coming to the tzaddik? Doesn’t he know that I exist for him to make the journey? And they mourn.

When was the last time you visited the Holy Land? What part of the Exile is keeping you away? When was the last time you traveled to a tzaddik to live Jewishly better? What part of the Exile is keeping you away?

May we soon see the coming of the Mashiach and the building of the Beit HaMikdash, swiftly and in our lifetime. Amen!

Midrash Eikhah Rabbati 1:30

© Copyright 2011 O. Bergman

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