14 Jul Tisha b’Av Amidah Kavanot-Second-Sixth Blessings
Second Blessing: Evening: Focus on Resurrection of the Dead: We acknowledge, even in this moment of destruction, even as we experience Your Might being expressed against us, that everything You do is with purpose to perfect the world, and to allow us to perfect ourselves1 and maximize our portion in the World to Come.
Morning: Focus on Abundantly Able to Save: You will use the same Might expressed against us to save us. Just as You increased Your Attribute of Compassion for Adam, after the sin2, You will increase Your compassion for us, who are suffering exile just as did Adam, when expelled from the Garden, with the promise of Resurrection – regaining our place in the Garden.
Afternoon: You are the Empowerer: You will continue to empower us to thrive in Exile and potentially achieve the same status as the Patriarchs – that You will call Yourself by our name – The Lord of Israel.
Evening: Kedusha – Sanctity as in being Beyond. Although You have removed the primary home of Your Holiness from the physical world, we strive to act with holiness to make a place for Your Presence.
Morning: Present in Our Hearts3: “Holy in the most exalted heaven, the abode of His Presence4,” and You allowed us to bring that Presence from the “most exalted heaven,” down into our world through building a Mishkan and Temple, so, too, we are creating a Home, here in this world, for Your Presence, by mourning the loss of the Temple.
Afternoon: Connecting Heaven & Earth: We reconnect to the Songs of Praise of Your Holy Angels, and join Earth to Heaven in singing Your Praises.
Evening: Free Gifts to the Undeserving: “Chonein,” is to grant as a pure gift. Even as we sit in a state of having misused what You taught us to bring Your Presence to this world, leading to the destruction of the Temple, we still beseech You for the Free Gift of Awareness.
Morning: “Teach Insight,” through life experiences – we are using even the negative experiences of Tisha b’Av to gain insight into ourselves, our mission, and, our Purpose. Please allow us to derive everything we can from Tisha b’Av and all associated or resulting from it.
Afternoon: Integration: Allow us to fully integrate Chochmah, Binah, and Da’at – Wisdom, Insight, and Awareness. Please allow us to repair all the breaks in the chain from Wisdom – Information to Reification in our Service so that we can fully integrate all we learn in practical ways.
Evening: Bring Us Back to You: Focus on the penultimate verse of Lamentations, “Bring us back to You, God, and we shall return, renew our days as of old5.”
Morning: Bring Us Near To Your Service: Empower us to experience every aspect of our Service of You in profound and elevating ways, so that we no longer feel that, “You have covered the heavens with clouds to block our prayers6.”
Afternoon: Ratzon – Divine Will: “Who desires Teshuva.” Your Ratzon – Divine Will – creates realities. Please express Your Desire for our Repentance so that it will become an internal reality for us, and we can Return to You so much so that Your return to us in the form of Redemption.
Evening: Our Parent: This is the Hebrew Month of Av, and You continue to relate to us as a parent to child. Please forgive us as a parent forgives a child.
Morning: Forgiving Ourselves: Please grant us the ability to forgive ourselves even as we reflect on our failings that led to the loss of the Temple.
Afternoon: The Gracious One: Please help us connect to You as “The Gracious One, Who pardons abundantly,” without carrying resentment towards You for our suffering.
1 The theme of the second bracha of Shmone Esrei is that Hashem has created us with a purpose; to share His goodness with us in Olam Habah, and He will guide us in this world through Divine Providence in order to fulfill that purpose. The mechanics of Hashem’s involvement changed a few times at different points of the Creation, and each of those steps is reflected in this Bracha as well.
תחיית המתים, Resurrection of the Dead, is the final step in fulfilling the purpose of Creation. It will be in Olam Habah that God will share His Goodness with us. That goodness begins in this world, where we were given the opportunity and the means to earn that Sharing in Olam Habah by having become masters of ourselves. That opportunity is part of the same commitment that Hashem made to give good unto an other. Because that is the driving force behind all existence, Hashem does whatever is necessary to help us master ourselves here so that we can attach ourselves to Him in Olam Habah. Therefore, the commitment of Hashem to share Himself in Olam Habah, is the commitment to guide us in Olam Hazeh. That which demandsתחיית המתים , Resurrection of the Dead also demands that He sustain us to maximize our Olam haBah..
2 רב להושיע, abundantly able to save, is an additional element ofתחיית המתים , beyond ordinary maintenance. This takes us to an even deeper level of understanding His Gevurah and this Brachah; Hashem created the world with the attribute of Din, known to us by the name אלקים, as in ”בראשית ברא אלקים“. This was a creation with structure. Any break in the structure would be dealt with immediately. However, in order for there to be Free Choice, there had to be room for חטא, for sin, therefore Hashem joined the attribute of רחמים , compassion, with the attribute of Din. However, He continued to act exclusively through Din until the first חטא. The רחמים was not yet necessary. At this point prayer was simply the act of negating one’s self to Hashem. After the עץ הדעת, the Tree of Knowledge, we began to exist as separate entities from Hashem. We had separated ourselves from Him in a drive to discover ourselves. Rachamim was necessary to continue to exist as separate beings. An even higher level of Rachamim was necessary for תחיית המתים. The attribute of Din, absolute structure, could not accept that even after a life of separation that there would be a Resurrection of the Dead. This higher level of Rachamim is what we refer to when we say ”רב להושיע“.
3 “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell in their midst (Exodus 25:8),” in the heart of each individual.
4 Targum of first of the three “Kadosh,” as recited in “u’va l’Tzion.”
5 (Lamentations 5:21)
6 (Lamentations 3:44)
7 See Kinah 1