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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Loving Discipline

Two young boys were fighting in the park. A man took one of the boys aside and began to spank him for his inappropriate behavior. An observant bystander indignantly asked the man, “Why are you spanking one boy and not the other?” The man replied, “The one I am spanking is my son, the other is not.”

We see a very glaring contradiction this Shabbat. It’s Shabbat, the happiest day of the week. It’s a time to sit down and forget all the troubles of the week, relax, enjoy delicious food and be happy.

This Shabbat is Tisha B’Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It’s the day commemorating the destruction of the two Jewish temples in Jerusalem. It’s a day of mourning; a time when we need to reflect on the fact that we are still in exile, and think of ways to fix the problem that brought us here.

When a parent disciplines a child, the child needs to know that he is still loved. For rebuke to be accepted, it needs to come from a loving heart.

Like the father who disciplined his son for inappropriate behavior, so G-d chastened Israel. Exile is not a punishment. Exile helps draw us closer to G-d. It seems dark and bitter, and therefore needs to be combined with the happiness of Shabbat, a time when we reflect on the goodness that G-d gives us, and relax in His presence.

* Please note, although the day of Tisha B’Av falls out on Shabbat, the fast day is observed on Sunday. For more on the Tisha B’Av observances, see

Shabbat candle lighting time: 7:49 PM

Shabbat Shalom and may we experience the complete redemption NOW!


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