Stories on the Nine Days and Tishah B’av

Reb Shloma Zalmen Auerbach lived in Yerushalayim near a Chasidish Shtibel and used to daven there. He very much liked the Ruach of the Chasidim. There are many interesting stories involving Reb Shloma Zalmen and the Chasidim.

Once, when Tishah B’av came out to be on Motzai Shabbos, Reb Shloma Zalmen was sure that in such a case the Chasidim will not remove their Shtreimel and leave it on for Motzai Shabbos Ma’ariv and for saying Kinus.

He came to the Shtibel with his Shtreimel on. The Chasidim however did remove their Shtreimel and dressed in weekly clothes. Ironically, Reb Shloma Zalmen was the only one still wearing Shabbos clothes on Tisha B’av night in a Chasidish Shtibel!

 

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The Holy R’ Yisochor Ber of Radashytz used to make a siyum every year in the nine days and would eat meat, which is permitted when making a siyum. He had a holy Avodah when doing so and used to repeat the following story every year.

There was once a man who used to sleep a lot. He slept every day till late and also made sure not to miss his afternoon nap. Since he lived in a small Shtetl, everyone in town knew of his habits and the people called him “Der Puffer” – The Heavy Sleeper.

One year on Rosh Hashanah he wanted to wake up early and instructed his wife to wake him up. When the morning came, he was sound asleep, and his wife couldn’t wake him up. Early afternoon, his wife was finally successful in shaking off his slumber.

He ran to Shul and they were up to blowing the Shofer. He dashes into the Shul with sleepy eyes and unkempt hair. All the people in the Shul turned around and saw him. The whole Shul erupted in laughter at the sight.

“This”, said the Holy Radashytzer, “is how ashamed we feel now as we are still in Galus and we are eating meat in the nine days”. With tears running down his face and soaking his food, he sat down to eat his meal.

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On Tisha B’av afternoon, some mischievous Chasidim in the Beis Midrash of the Holy Rhiziner decided to play a prank. They went up to the women’s section, which was above the entrance of the main Shul, and built a pully system that would entrap whoever walks into the Shul and pull them up into the women’s section.

Lo and behold, the Holy Rhiziner walks in. They couldn’t see from above who entered, and they released their shtik. The pully captures the Rhiziner and brings him up to the women’s section. The pranksters are full of glee only to discover, to their horror, that the person they pulled up is non-other than the Rhiziner himself!

They immediately apologized with great shame, but the Rhiziner looked up to Shamayim and said, “Ribbono Shel Olam, if you don’t like how your children conduct themselves on Tisha B’av, please take it away from them by bringing the Geulah!”

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The Chasam Sofer writes that every time there is a war, there is a Hisoreros (awakening) for Mashiach. The reason is, because when two nations fight over control, Hashem says, maybe it’s time to bring the right king to the world and it should be והיה ה’ למלך על כל הארץ.

Similarly, Tzadikim said that every year before Tishah B’av there is a Hisoreros for Mashiach. Every Yom Tov and every Ta’anis is not just a commemoration of what happened a long time ago, instead the original event happens again every year in a spiritual sense. That’s why there is a Hisoreros to bring Mashiach and not repeat the Churban this year on Tisha B’av.

May we be Zoche still this year to the Geulah Shleima!!