Tisha b’Av thought posts forecast

I apologize in advance – it does not seem likely that I will be able to run the usual set of posts that usually are posted over Tisha b’Av. Personal commitments require me elsewhere.

Really, all my thoughts at the moment are the same… why haven’t we learned to get along yet? We Yidden can do almost anything, we can face almost any challenge, we can solve almost every problem. Why haven’t we solved the challenge of Galus? It’s not a punishment, it’s to prepare us for Geulah, which we could be ready for at any moment. But it’s been thousands of years, and we are still not ready for Geulah, still not ready to live together in Israel and serve G-d as one multifaceted but brilliant jewel. We’re too busy splitting ourselves apart.

Every other day of the year is dedicated towards looking forward to Geulah and working towards Geulah, and towards making this world a better place for each other. Today is the day that we look back at the past year, at our past generation, and regret that even if Moshiach comes tomorrow (please!) it will not have come yesterday. Or last week, before the most recent terror attacks. Or last year, before so much other pain. Today is the day to realize that, while we will never give up hope, we need to try harder.

There are countless other resources available to help you feel Tisha b’Av – the pain and yearning and the spark of hope. They’re available online at Chabad.org, Torah Anytime, the Kotel Camera, and many other sites. There may be programming at the local shul. And there is always megillat Eicha.

Wishing you all an easy and meaningful fast…

Welcome

Inspired by Starlight focuses on events and people who help light up the darkness of galus (exile). We are not attempting to make galus feel ok – it isn’t, and no amount of positive thoughts and dreaming can make it so. Galus is hard… even if Moshiach comes tomorrow, we still carry yesterday’s scars. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that the Geulah can come, when the world is so bleak.

But we do have the power to hasten the Geluah. To bring Moshiach sooner and with less pain. We just need to believe in ourselves, and in each other – we are all better than we realize. So when the world seems dark and the light within you feels faint, come here and read, and realize that we are closer to the geulah than it seems.

If you are interested in contributing content to this site, please contact us via the ‘submit’ page. Thank you

A thank you to everyone

I want to express a quick, but heartfelt thank you to everyone who works on and contributes to this blog.

It makes my day to open everything up and find nicely written posts just waiting to be tagged and published. No edits, no proofing, no begging for a submission, they’re where I need them, when I need them.

I can’t express my peace of mind for knowing that all the technicalities are being managed smoothly without my needing to worry. Running a website is not easy, but my job has been halved with all the help on this aspect.

Though they’ll never appear in print, everyone who has encouraged me to keep going and given advice has a huge role here. You know who you are, and I most certainly do.

Above all, a thank you to everyone who is mentioned in the stories here –  for being people who add light to the world, and for being people who appreciate the good in their lives and cannot help but share it. I cannot wait to hear more from you.

You all have my respect and appreciation, and I hope your light only shines brighter.

A public apology and show of gratitude

A lot of people have at school have asked me the usual question, ‘So, what did you do this summer?” I found out the hard way that ‘Work on  two websites’ is a much better answer than ‘spend a lot of time sick in bed, work, clean my room and do a chemistry course,’ and it’s not hard to see why.

Once, someone asked me which two, and I told her, rushing out the door to try and grab a drink before class, “Inspired by Starlight, which you should know, and my crafts website.”

She asked me a question about Starlight and I sad, “You READ THAT?” Ok, here’s the apology.

I wasn’t amazed by her reading it personally. It was only that something must be faulty in our reader stats, because nothing matching her location was showing up. It was also part gratitude– Lucky and I have been wondering for a while if anyone but us writers reads the blog anyway. We rarely get e-mails in, so it’s hard to tell. She’d often said that if one person read it, it would be worth it.

The girl’s reply was “Sort of.”  Thanks for accepting what I said and being one of those people.

Hello All!

Our tech admin would be laughing at me for taking so long to figure this out, but better late than never.

I just found the feature that lets me see how many visitors this site is getting. It’s so amazing to see them all pouring in!

Just wanted to let you all know what a smile you put on my face! Keep on coming.

PS. Feedback makes us smile, and helps us do a better job in bringing you content. Please drop us a few words!

Scared, but with faith

Tisha B’av scares me. Lucky mentioned it, so I’ll elaborate

I looked at the calender and saw that this year, the actual date of the ninth of Av is a Shabbat. The fast is on the tenth of Av this year. And that seemed really surreal to me. On the one hand, it’s the saddest day in the Jewish calendar year. Postponing the fast doesn’t change the date of all the sad things that happened. (Also see the rest of Chabad.org on the subject.) On the other hand, it’s Shabbat. We’re commanded to rejoice. Even if you can forget the date, the fast is lurking right around the corner, reminding you to drink plenty of water and not eat anything that will make you feel sick the next day.

And then I was thinking how if the Shabbat Project ever did another one this year, this would be the perfect week for it. But no, that would never happen. Something really drastic would have to happen for them to whip together a worldwide Shabbat campaign at such short notice. And then it brought me back to where I started.

Drastic things do happen. Like last year. And last year, we promised ourselves that this would be the last time we fasted and mourned. And I believed it. It seemed impossible to me that the world would not wake up and fix things. That we would not wake up and fix things. That I would not wake up and fix things.

Tisha b’Av scares me beacuse I’m scared of living in another year of Galus. We can’t last much longer. S0 G-d, who cares too much to give up on us, shakes us to wake us up before it’s too late. And those shakes HURT. Bombing, wars, mass antisemitism. We confuse the symptoms for the disease, but really, though life is calmer now, we’re still facing the same core problem. And already, we’re being shaking up again. Thank G-d, the bombs landed an unoccupied area. Thank G-d, nothing terrible happened during the protest in London.

But how much longer before we’re shaken up again? That’s what scares me, even more than seeing our nation fall more every day. These symptoms tell us how bad things are. But in and of themselves, they are sooo painful.

I’m not writing this to give up hope. Not at all. I may feel desperate, but I haven’t given up yet. If we take this message to heart, there will be no need to fear anymore. I know I say this every year, but it needs to be said again. G-d will keep on shaking us. And we will not give up.

Please help me. We’ve all made mistakes this year. But we’ve learned that we can come together, and the echos of last summer’s unity still live on. Wake them up!

אני מאמין באמונה שלמה בביאת המשיח .ואף על פי שיתמהמה, עם כל זה אחכה לו בכל היום שיבוא I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Moshaich. Even if he delays, I wait for him every day.

It sounds so simple. But maybe if we truly believe this, it will be easier for us to take the final step forward in all our actions. If we remember this, that Moshiach is on our doorstep, that he is just waiting to know the time is right for him to enter…

Another New User

Welcome to Lady Ziva, another new member of the team. We’re so glad to have you. Every new person has what to offer and I’m looking forward to seeing what special things you can share with us. You already made my day for signing up!

Thank you, Mim, for recruiting such a royal staff!

Remember that the contest is still running from our previous new user post.

Congratulations to Mim, Lady Ziva, and Princess Sarite and all our other readers for whom summer has officially started. Though school is out, the world at large is still filled with kindness in spite of (or even maybe because of) the heat. Keep your eyes peeled!