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Rabbi's Corner

The Three Weeks

In January 2006- about the same time that Chabad at Beekman-Sutton was being launched- there was another revolutionary launch afoot at The Kennedy Space Center in Florida: The New Horizons Space Probe was ready for take-off. The Space Probe, a little-known but ambitious program, set its sights on the furthest planet in our solar system. That January, it flung a small, unmanned rocket 3,000,000,000 (that's three billion!) miles away to visit the distant dwarf planet Pluto and its five moons. It has been traveling all this time, and finally, in January 2015, the first blurry images arrived back on our blue planet. Today, millions around the world await the big reveal: crystal clear color images of an unfathomable world never seen before. In the Twitter-verse, this mission goes by #PlutoFlyBy and will be declared a success on July 14.

I have been following this mission for a while, and with the approach of the period known as "The Three Weeks", marking the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, I found the parallels striking. This Sunday, the 17th of Tammuz, we are reminded of a small nation that had been launched on a 2000 year odyssey in time, a geographic and spiritual exile. Two temples built and then destroyed propelled this small nation through a trajectory of triumph and tribulation; the sun set and then rises again through the bright spots and black holes of time. 

Like the New Horizons Space Project, there is a destination.We've been told by the ancient prophets and sages of the Talmud that the mission has an end date; exile is only a prelude to the era of global redemption with the coming of Moshiach. The Rebbe taught that this era, the return of our "Space Odyssey", is upon the horizon, with the collective acts of goodness and refinement of our world propelling us to a triumphant conclusion.

"The Three Weeks" are a time of collective mourning for the Jewish nation, as we remember with sorrow the glory of the Divine Presence in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. But let us view the ancient destruction through a positive telescope: our odyssey is nearing completion, and the ruins of old are essentially a demolition site, ready for the Divine rebuilding of the Temple and the redemption of all mankind.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom, Good Shabbos, and Warm Regards,

Rabbi Shmuel Metzger 

P.S. You are invited to join us at Chabad for a fascinating Tisha B'av Film and Discussion Program on Sunday, July 26, 12 pm.

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