Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Baba Mezi'a 59a. And ....Yes, He does. Ha'Shem counts My tears & the tears of Am Yisrael too. And as it is the 9 days to Tisha B'Av, I have been thinking a lot about those tears. Both my personal tears & those of Am Yisrael in general.
Thou has counted my wanderings, put Thou my tears into Thy bottle ... are they not in Thy book?
~ Tellihim 56.9 ~
~ Tellihim 56.9 ~
It is strange that we have the capacity to cry, to expel water from our eyes when we are sad. It seems to serve no real purpose .... although science can explain the physiological “why”, and mental health experts can explain the psychological “why”. That still leaves the real question of “why” tears ..... just why were we created with that capacity?
It seems a mysterious part of what it means to be human to shed tears. And yet, Torah, Tanakh & Talmud are replete with references to tears. It seems less mysterious for Jews ... or so thinks this Jewish girl anyways. And especially at this time of year ... the Kinnos of Av, or the lamentations of Av.
Rabbi Eleazar said ..... "Since the destruction of the Temple, the gates of tefilah are locked, for it is written, Also when I cry out, he shutteth out my tefilah. Yet though the gates of tefilah are locked, the gates of tears are not, for it is written, Hear my tefilah, Ha'Shem, and give ear unto my cry, hold not thy peace at my tears." ~ Talmud Tractate Baba Mezi'a ~
“A child’s tear rends the heavens to reach Ha'Shem” .... An old Yiddish Proverb oft repeated to me in childhood.
So tears penetrate the "Gate of Tears" that gets you through to Ha'Shem, to the one who provides justice & respite for the afflicted, whether they be personal tears or those of Klal Yisrael ... Hashem does not forget a Jewish tear!
That is the purpose of tears in life!
And, I know in life too, there is no such a thing as coincidence If something has happened it's for a reason. Perhaps simple, perhaps not. Just unknown ... to me that is. It is not unknown to Ha'Shem. How could it be??
Hashem doesn't just do things or allow things without reason. Hashem decides and plans for each person what is best for them, on an individual level as he is persuaded .... not a blade of grass sways in the wind, or a wave breaks on a rocky shore, but that Ha'shem has decreed it first. He knows each wisp of wind, as he knows each of us he has created, intimately. And perhaps the reason I don't see the reason, or the hand of Ha'Shem at work is because what I really need is to work on myself to become closer and closer to Hashem. So, each Yisurim that I pass through is to bring me closer to Ha'Shem himself. It is to improve my Bitachon & Emuna in Him.
Hashem is full of Chesed and Rachamim for every Jew in the World. It is knowing this & trusting this, allied with tears that open the gate to Ha'Shem's mercy.
That is the purpose of Tears I think!!
And I wanted to write on this today because it has obsessed my heart recently ..... And, I'll end with a tale from the Artscroll translation of 'The Kinnos of Tisha B'Av' by Rabbi Avraham Chaim Feuer.
Rabbi Feuer (p.xiv) brings a beautiful story with Rabbi Aryeh Levin a man of rare compassion and sensitivity ......
Once a distraught, recently widowed woman came to him and cried uncontrollably. All of his efforts to console her were of no avail. Finally the widow said that she would accept consolation if he could please answer the following question. "Please tell me what happened to all of my tears? I prayed and prayed for my late husband, I recited chapter after chapter of Tehilim, and shed thousands upon thousands of tears. My very soul flowed into those tears. Were they all wasted?"
Gently, Rav Aryeh replied, "After a hundred and twenty years, when you will leave this world and ascend to the heavenly tribunal, you will see how meaningful and precious your tears were. You will discover that Hashem Himself gathered them in and counted every single teardrop and treasured it like a priceless gem. And you will discover that, whenever some harsh and evil decree was looming over the Jewish people, one of your tears came and washed the evil away, making it null and void. Even one sincere tear is a source of salvation!"
Hearing this the woman burst into a fresh flow of tears ~ not tears of sorrow and grief, but tears of courage and hope. That is where I need to be ......
Yishayahu 25:8 "umacha hashem elokim dima me'al kol panim " ~ ... "May Hashem Elokim wipe away tears from every face" .... Mine included!!!!
And as an aside ..... a muse ..... I like thinking of tears as Diamonds falling from my eyes as Raindrops falling from Shemayim are Diamonds .... and Mayim is the Hebrew word for Water. Just another analogy I like ..... Raindrops from Shemayim have healing properties because they are the waters of Heaven in Ha'Shem's presence. Yesterday I likened the Sea to Salty tears ~ Sad Waters that had to separate from Ha'Shem and dwell in the earthly space ....... "And Ha'Shem said 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.' And Ha'Shem made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so." ~ Bereshit 1.6 ~
Tears are Diamonds in Disguise .....