Clarity Comes Through Confusion
“The word for Lamenting and fixing are the same in Hebrew, ‘kinot’ are the same letters as ‘tikun’ which means fixing”
- Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
Likutey Mohoran 247
On Tisha B’av morning throughout the world, the Jewish people sing, hum and meditate on the kinot. The Kinot are poetic lamentations written in utmost beauty and glory, describing the destruction of Jerusalem and exile of the Jewish people. They are a collection of poems and liturgy written over a thousand years ago by holy Rabbis and Jews brokenhearted and spiritually shocked at the reality in which they live compared to the reality which had been.
The Kinot when translated are like food without spices or taste, it has a lost effect. The experience is almost lost without the genuine richness of the original poetic Hebrew – something in and of itself to cry and lament over; the reality that the power and grandeur of Judaism cannot be experienced by so many.
Even in English though, when going through the kinot one can taste the soul of the Jewish people, the soul of the Land of Israel, the soul being in exile and yearning for Tikun, fixing and redemption. That is the secret of the kinot.
Rebbe Nachman in that teaching is teaching a secret about the nature of redemption and the secret to fix anything that needs fixing: by going through, and by feeling and experiencing the destruction. That in and of itself brings about Tikun. Kinot are Tikun, they are the same word, the same essence, the same reality.
If a person ever finds themselves in a place and reality of brokenness, of destruction, of exile – the secret to find completeness, building and redemption is by fully being in the reality of exile – by saying kinot, by absorbing that reality – and by understanding why we are there.
“Said Rava: If a person finds that sufferings and frustrations have come upon him – he should look at how he has been living and acting; as it says in Lamentations, ‘We shall look into our ways and analyze it, and return to God”
If a person were to look and not find any reason in his actions – then it is because of not having studied Torah…and if not because of Torah, then they are sent from God out of love to refine the person to grow”
- Talmud Brachot 5a
For things beyond our control – such as what kind of families we were born into, our personalities – that is part of a Masterplan of the Creator. But for things withinour control and we find ourselves frustrated and broken – look into our actions, say “kinot” over how we might have acted, see what we have been lacking in and misguided about – and when we say “kinot”, then we will find Tikun.
Our saying Kinot on Tisha B’av is in order to fully enter the reality and experience of exile – only to come out of it with a vision of what is deeply missing in our lives and how we can attain it.
Let this Tisha B’av be a time of clarity and vision where we experience the deeper lackings in our lives and the world and come away with an understanding of how we can bring the Tikun about.
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