Rav Wolbe in Alei Shur addresses the famous question of why Tisha B’av is called a moed-festival. Some festivals such as the sholosh regalim are called “Moed Shel Kiruv”- a holiday of closeness, while some festivals are called “Moed Shel Richuk”-a holiday of distance. During the Three Weeks we need to ask ourselves, “Where are we in life? Are we really as close to Hashem as we should be? Are our Torah, Mitzvot, and Chesed at the proper level or are we going through the motions but missing the soul?” “Moed Shel Richuk” means celebrating the fact that our mourning has brought us closer to our true selves. It means admitting that we are far away from Hashem and then making the effort to bridge the gap and move forward. The Baalei Mussar say that on Tisha B’av one can reach a certain clarity of vision similar to Yom Kippur. Tisha B’av is not only about mourning over the physical destruction of the Beit Hamikdash but about grieving over our lost intmacy with Hashem. It is about taking an honest look at our connection with Hashem and admitting that we have very far to go to reach that closeness. Once we have reached that recognition, we can then set out on the path to mend the loving bond with Hashem once again.
Tisha B’Av: A Holiday of Distance3 08 2011