Learning the derech of Rabbi Asher Freund has brought a deeper understanding of the three weeks .
By progressively lowering our simcha in the pleasures of the body to the nine days and Tisha B’av itself – no meat, no grape juice, no swimming, no Torah learning, no eating, no greeting each other – the “feeling” ourselves diminishes in favor of a simple pleasure in growing awareness of Hashem, that He is doing everything, of what we lost when the temple was destroyed. The thought and enjoyment we direct towards feeling our physical lives -swimming, eating, music -is available and redirected toward pursuits that are above our natural will. The increase in awareness of Hashem that we are striving for is an increase in our superconscious mind that will then become a more expanded source for our will to lovingly bring into this world in thought, speech and deed. Come elul, we plan for a new year with a heightened sincerity to implement goals that place us clearly in Hashem’s picture rather than within our own otherwise naturally driven picture.
May this upcoming three weeks be an awakening to a path of spiritual intellectual upgrade that truly will enhance us for the upcoming year. May we embrace the laws and restrictions with the same appreciation for what it teaches us about the natural self-interest we gravitate to, the cognitive bias that blinds us to our true selves and how to “circumcise” our hearts in order to project into the world our truer persona and “release the sparks” that our pulling back what our pleasure in “feeling ourselves” makes possible to bring down into the void we willingly choose. And may doing so strengthen our relationship with Hashem as He designs it to be increased, may we realize our truer persona and potential to reveal His Will and bring a new light into the world, and may our really seeing and doing our part bring about that we see the utopia we yearn for.
Clips from Rav Asher Freund