Through The Eyes of a Woman
The Nine Days: Curtailing, Joyfully
One of the things most emphasized in Chassidus is the quality of joy.
When it comes to the Nine Days the Shulchan Aruch states that "when the month
of Av begins, memaatin besimchah -- we have to reduce in joyfulness."
Chassidic thought offers an additional interpretation: "When the month of Av begins,
we have to reduce the Divine self-concealment that finds expression in the mournfulness
of Av by means of joyfulness."
Why was this attitude not emphasized to such an extent in previous generations?
Because as we get closer to Mashiach, we're getting closer to the geulah.
So Chassidus says, why should we only sit and cry about the destruction of
the Beis HaMikdash? Let us rather emphasize the idea of joy and the positive,
for this is a way of getting ready for the geulah. In no generation has this
been emphasized so much as in ours, by the Rebbe, who keeps us focused on the future,
on Mashiach and the redemption, rather than on the past and the destruction.
The question is, how do we increase in joy in a way that is permitted by the
Shulchan Aruch when you can't even eat meat, you can't even wash clothes,
and you can't even wear clean clothes? It's literally a period of mourning. Here
we find an innovative solution from the Rebbe, a real chiddush. The Rebbe
suggests that we make a siyum -- the completion of a tractate of
the Talmud -- every single day of the nine days. Why a siyum?
Because when a Jew completes the study of a tractate of Talmud, this gives
the day the status of a holiday. Technically speaking, one may even eat meat if
the siyum takes place during the Nine Days. Practically speaking, this is
not done, but since this is permitted by the Shulchan Aruch, it is indicative
of a change in the somber status of these days.
[A siyum then followed, after which Nechoma commented:]
Let us hope and pray that this siyum will be followed immediately by the
siyum and conclusion of galus, as the Rebbe has remarked on several