We are approaching the Three Weeks, where we turn our focus to mourning the loss of the Beis HaMikdash. The deeper aspects of what we mourn are the following:
A. We mourn for Hashem: the loss of Hashem’s Honor in the world. Tragically, not only does most of the world not recognize Hashem, but the vast majority of His children don’t recognize Him either. Even amongst those who do recognize Him – and are even Torah observant – many do not have the close, loving relationship with Him that Hashem desires.
B. We mourn for ourselves. We mourn over the loss of the feeling of Hashem’s Presence, closeness to Him, and awe and love for Him that we merited when His Sh’chinah rested in the Beis HaMikdash.
During these weeks especially, we should focus more mind and heart on the areas of tefilah that are directly related to our desire to return Hashem’s Honor and restore our close, loving relationship. We present here some suggested possibilities:
A. Throughout the P’sukei D’Zimrah, there are multiple p’sukim that speak about the time when Hashem’s Honor will be restored. Some of the more obvious examples are in Hodu and at the end of Az Yashir.
B. Within Shemoneh Esrei, the brachos of V’liYerushalayim, Es Tzemach, R’tzei, and the Y’hi Ratzon at the very end of Shemoneh Esrei
C. The long Tachanun on Mondays and Thursdays
D. V’Al Kein N’kaveh in Aleinu
E. A good part of Birkas HaMazon, including the second and third brachos, as well as the HaRachamans
F. The brachah of Al HaMichyah
G. Al Naharos Bavel (prior to Birkas HaMazon), on weekdays when Tachanun is said
This is only a partial list, to open our minds and hearts to be more aware and more feeling, especially in these upcoming weeks, of our longing to return Hashem’s Honor to the entire world and to restore our loving relationship with our Father to what it once was. May it be His will that this comes about speedily in our days.