How to Find Light in the Darkest Times

Image of Yael and elderly woman

If you have ever felt like giving up, today’s episode is especially for you. This month Jews around the world observe the darkest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av. On this day, Jewish people weep for something that occurred more than 2,000 years ago — the destruction of both the First and Second Temples that once stood in Jerusalem. Yet, as host Yael Eckstein explains, while this day is one of deep sorrow, it is also one of great hope — a hope that has sustained the Jewish people through the centuries. The lesson for us all is that there is always room for hope because we worship a God of love, mercy, and compassion. By not giving up hope, we affirm our belief in God’s promise to fulfill all His promises in the Bible. Listen now to this encouraging message.

Episode Notes:

Jews have marked Tisha B’Av for thousands of years by fasting, mourning, and gathering in synagogues to read the Book of Lamentations – the book written by the prophet Jeremiah describing the destruction of Jerusalem. This date marks not just one tragedy in Jewish history, but many others that have happened on this exact date over the centuries. But the two greatest tragedies to happen on this date were the destruction of both the first Holy Temple and the Second Temple that once stood in Jerusalem. Even today, the Jewish people still refuse to be comforted or to give up hope for God’s promised restoration of His Holy Temple or His Holy City, Jerusalem.

On today’s episode, host Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, explains that even with all this pain and darkness, the real message to remember about Tisha B’Av is that it is also a day to hold on to hope no matter how bad things may seem. By not giving up hope, the Jewish people affirm their belief that God will fulfill all of His promises in the Bible – those that we have been blessed to see already, like the return of the Jewish people to Israel, and those we haven’t seen yet, like God’s return to Jerusalem. In particular, Yael focuses on the Lamentations 3:19-23 which reads, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

As Yael reveals in this podcast, she learned the lessons of hope as a young girl from her grandfather, who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust, yet never gave up hope for a better future. From her grandfather’s stories, Yael learned that as long as we hold onto hope, it will carry us through the dark times. No matter how hopeless things may seem, there is always room for hope, because our God is a God of love, mercy, and compassion.

Discover more about Tisha B’Av at our Learning Center.