The Resounding Silence
A father answers the questions of his child and they are happy together, in joyful dialogue.
Then the child asks a question, and the father must think deeply—not just for the answer, but to reach to the essence of this answer so he may bring it to the world of his child. For a long while, the father is quiet.
And so, the child becomes anxious and begins to cry. “Father, where are you? Why do you no longer talk to me? Why have you deserted me for your own thoughts?”
And then the father begins to speak, but this time it is the deepest core of his mind that flows into the mind and heart of the child. Such a flow that with this the child, too, may become a father.
The child is us. The time of silence is now.
When the spirit of Man is dark, when the flow gates of Above seem all but sealed, prepare for liberation.
–Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
We are that child asking the father, Abba, we look around and we can’t believe what we’re seeing. It defies belief. Everyone is asking, “Can you believe it? Who would have imagined?!” Abba, tell us! In a world where everything seems to be defying belief, what are we supposed to do?!”
A silence like that is a wall. And the whole point of these days before the 9th of Av is that the wall is not yielding so fast. We can’t say that it’s impossible right now to sense the Will of the Master of the World, but we know that it’s not easy, to express it mildly.
So I yield before the obstacles. I accept that I am that child in the story and not only can’t I hear the voice of the father today, I can’t even understand or express anything about that. I can’t speak of the beauty or the grandeur of that silence.
But then, I find that something amazing has happened: The obstacles now have been so forcefully present and unyielding that that itself has brought a revelation of its own.
During these three weeks, something astounding has gradually become apparent to me: My obstacles, those of this period of the calendar, and those of my life until today, are now so very visible, standing there obstinate and unbending, and I see them so clearly in front of me, that they are no longer a threat. They are simply my traveling companions. I can work with companions.
The Piasczener Rebbe, ztzal, writes in his sefer, Tzav V’Ziruz, that:
“Not only the hiddenness, God’s apparent absence, did I see but I have seen both the concealment and the revelation: I saw that the dark secret itself is the revealment.” (From the English translation)
Illusion ceases to play its game when you can grab it. Its whole power lies in its inability to be grasped. In these three weeks, illusion thinks that it’s carrying the day, so much so that it stands up in all its glory, hiding behind nothing, certain that it will frighten us and stop us. What it doesn’t understand is that that in itself is it’s very downfall.
We see you now, and we’re not afraid. You’ve been unmasked. We may even thank you for being there all this time because it seems that we weren’t ready to live without you until now. But you can fade away now. We don’t need you anymore.
Your time has passed.
To sum up: A friend wrote yesterday, after reading what I had written here: The silence is definitely deafening, and yet in my head and in my ears I hear a BIG SOUND of change.