Kinah 25: Was It Worth it?

Jul 18th, 2010 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Reflections & Observations
“Would that my head were water and my eye a fount of flowing tears.” (Based on Jeremiah 8:23)

The First Crusade began with a call from the Church to liberate Jerusalem from the Moslems, but Jewish communities were attacked, ravaged, pillaged and murdered all along the way. Speyer (May 3, 1096), Worms (May 18, 1096), Mainz, (May 27, 1096), Cologne, Trier, Regensburg, Metz, and Prague. It is impossible to find enough tears to shed over the horrors these communities experienced, so we look to Jeremiah who could not find enough tears to shed over what was happening to Jerusalem.

The Midrash (Midrash Eichah Zutah 19) read the verse as spoken by God: The Holy One, Blessed is He, said, “If only I had not descended to Mt Sinai and given them the Torah for them to break and be punished over it!” “My head,” refers only to Torah, as it says, God made me as the beginning – ‘Rosh’ – of His way, before His deeds of yore.” (Proverbs 8:22) Moshe, speaking for God, praised Israel with, “Mi yitein,” – “”Who can assure that this heart remain theirs, to fear Me and observe all My commandments.” (Deuteronomy 5:26) Jeremiah, speaking for God, says, “Mi yitein,” – “Would that my head.”

Our suffering was so terrible that God said, “If only I had not given the Torah!” God’s love for Israel is so powerful that He voices a thought that it would have been better to never have given the Torah so that all the suffering would have been avoided!

This verse is an expression of love.

God did give the Torah. It was worthwhile despite the suffering. We, His children, would never choose to live without His Torah, even if it meant we could avoid all the suffering. This Kinah is our expression of love for God and His Torah.

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