The 9th day of Leo (Av) holds a unique balance of opposites for our family.
Tisha B'Av (Tisha meaning "ninth") is considered a day of sadness and darkness. The date commemorates the destruction of both the first and second temples, along with other tragic moments in history. Yet kabbalists teach that the greater the darkness, the greater the potential for Light. So it’s no surprise that my mother-in-law and great teacher, Karen Berg, elevated from this world on the 9th of Av three years ago. Days of elevation are especially powerful because they allow us to tap into the energy a person’s soul brought to the world during their lifetime.
And throughout the 28 years I knew her (which I can now call 31 since she's still with me every day!), Karen was a conduit for the Light–from her beautiful, dimpled smile to all the ways she lifted others near and far.
Karen knew that darkness is almost always connected at some level with a lack of love and sharing. Wars, crime, greed, fallen temples--they all are rooted in humanity's tendency to shut out "the other" for the sake of self-interest. The mistaken notion that we can still be okay when others are not runs contrary to the essence of spirituality: that being that there is only ONE energy, one love, one well-being. Your happiness and mine are intertwined!