As the saddest day on the Jewish calendar begins tonight, the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation (CCHF) is ready. Staff, coordinators, and volunteers around the world have prepared what has become the world’s largest Torah event: the annual Tisha B’Av video.
As usual, CCHF has set out to make Tisha B’Av a day of introspection and spiritual growth,
and this year’s topic is one that is close to every Jewish heart: Emunah. To bring this important message home to each of their 50,000 viewers, CCHF has lined up some of the Torah world’s most inspiring speakers. Program A features Lakewood Mashgiach Hagaon HaRav Matisyahu Solomon, Rabbi Paysach Krohn, and Rabbi Fishel Schacter. Program B features Rabbi Jonathan Rietti and Rabbi Zev Leff (depending on location). Viewers of either program are in for an inspiring experience.
Rav Salomon speaks about the mitzvah of anticipating Moshiach. He notes the unique form of the twelfth “Ani Maamin,” in which we affirm our belief that Moshiach will come. That affirmation alone is qualified by a second expression: “Even if he delays, I will await him every day.” His insight into the meaning of that second expression sheds a brilliant new light on the deeper meaning of longing for Geulah.
Rabbi Krohn, in his engaging style, speaks about the mesiras nefesh of ordinary people who made extraordinary sacrifices because of their emunah that they were doing the right thing, such as the story of a newly-religious Baal Teshuva whose commitment to Shabbas made him suddenly quite wealthy. Such stories, Rabbi Krohn commented in an interview, “show Hashem’s constant attentiveness to our people.”
Through another eye-opening story, Rabbi Krohn explains why true emunah may be quite different from what many people may believe it to be.
Rabbi Schachter challenges viewers to unravel the great contradiction of Tisha B’Av: “On the one hand it’s the darkest day of the year, and on the other hand-it’s Moshiach’s birthday!” Rabbi Schachter explores this paradox at length, leading the viewer to a new understanding of how Hashem wants us to utilize the “darkness” during the darkest of all days.
Rabbi Rietti takes viewers on an Emunah-inspired walk through history, using prophetic statements from Tanach to illustrate Hashem’s rulership over and presence in the world.
With anecdotes and drashos, Rabbi Leff tackles some of the most common and troubling questions in Emunah: Why does Hashem allow bad things to happen? Is it okay to daven for bad things to end?
One topic many speakers address is brachos. Brachos serve, in part, to keep us in a constant dialogue with Hashem, as Rabbi Rietti said in an interview, citing the Rambam: “One of the reasons Chazal instituted brachos is to keep us talking to Hashem all day long.”
“Making brachos is not only an expression of emunah,” Rabbi Schachter reflected. “It’s also a way to jump start your emunah.”
As reciting brachos and Krias Shema are two of the building blocks of Emunah, attendees will receive two gifts to help them enhance their appreciation of these mitzvos and perform them with greater kavana and zeal.
“Emunah is the foundation of every single mitzvah that we find in Torah she’b’ksav and Torah she’baal peh,” Rabbi Krohn observed. “It’s a means to feel His closeness in our daily lives.”
The annual Tisha B’Av video, now in its eighteenth year, is presented in some seven hundred locations in sixteen countries around the globe. For locations and times of a Tisha B’Av program near you, or for more information, contact the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation or visit www.ChofetzChaimUSA.org/TishaBAv.