Friday night my family was with my grandparents at my cousins sheva brachos. My grandparents had made aliyah 3 years ago, and have come in once, a year before for another cousins wedding. So my grandfather made Kiddush, and he sings the ending a certain way. It brought back memories for my mother, and she missed hearing her father make kiddush, so her eyes started getting teary and she went to hug my aunt.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen tears in my mother’s eyes before. So when I saw her face get teary, it had such a powerful impact on me, that I just burst into tears. My cousin saw and asked what happened, and I tried to stop, and laugh, and I told her it’s nothing. But the tears wouldn’t stop coming. So I went away from the rest of the people, and let myself cry it out for a few minutes, and only then was I able to join the rest of the family.
It felt so strange to just start crying, because of no apparent reason, other than seeing tears in my mother’s eyes. There were times when I have cried before, and after each time I feel as though I am a “baby”, as though I’m not strong enough to handle whatever situation it is.
But then I saw this Midrash:
“After Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, God said to them, ‘Now you are about to enter into a world of sorrow and trouble the likes of which staggers the imagination. However, I want you to know that My benevolence and My love for you will never end. I know that you will meet with a lot of tribulation in the world, and that it will embitter your lives. For that reason I give you, out of My heavenly treasure, this priceless pearl, a tear. When grief overtakes you and your heart aches so that you are not able to endure it, and great anguish grips your soul, then there will fall from your eyes this tiny tear and your burden will grow lighter.’”
Then I realized, that tears aren’t a bad thing, actually quite the opposite, they allow us to heal. When I cry, I allow myself to think about what is troubling me, and to wallow in sadness, and even feel self pity for myself when I feel I have been wronged. I let all these emotions come out with the tears, so that after a good cry, I feel refreshed, and can continue on.
So really tears is a Bracha, I therefore pass on the Bracha to all of you:
“May we be graced with the ability to shed tears, and may our tears release that which dwells deep within our souls. May they heal us as we process, reconcile, and continue on our paths toward wholeness and peace.”