The Three (Not So) Negative Weeks
We are now in a period known as Ben Hamitzarim or The Three Negative Weeks. This will last us through Tisha b’Av (this year falling on July 29th, 2012), which is believed to be the most negative day of the year. It marks the anniversary of several calamities throughout both biblical and modern history, most notably the destruction of both Holy Temples.
You may have already noticed that this is a time when our selfish nature tends to be awakened more than ever. It might be harder than usual for us not to react. Some days, the last thing we’ll want to do is go out of our comfort zone or share with others. For some of us, we will face challenges; our certainty will be tested and many will discover way more negativity within ourselves than we ever wanted to see.
Our initial reaction to this news might be that it sounds like a good three weeks to stay at home and hide under the covers! Who wants to even get out of bed in the morning when adversity could be at every corner?
But the kabbalists teach a great secret in regards to Ben haMitzarim: There is actually more Light available during this time than usual! The more difficult moments in life are the rare opportunities to transform.
This is a time when we can cleanse ourselves of any darkness, negativity and even disease. The Rav would often refer to Ben haMitzarim not as a time of negativity, but of miracle making! Few other moments in our year can gain us access to such an abundance of blessings. By transforming ourselves during these three weeks, when it’s most difficult to do so, we can potentially remove the negativity of our past, present and potential future.
The last thing this period of time should be seen as is scary. Fear is just what the negative side would have us feel now when we’re so close to revealing so much Light!
Ben haMitzarim is an exciting vehicle that can take us to our next level by showing us the things we need to change most and giving us every opportunity to become the best version of ourselves.
It can be the most powerful 21 days we’ve ever experienced, if we choose it to be.
Our combined consciousness and actions of unconditional love, sharing, and restriction are perhaps more powerful right now than they’ve been in our entire lives. If we choose to take advantage by really tackling our negativity for just a few days, we can each grab the better life that belongs to us, and create a better world for mankind.
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