In Parshat Devarim Moshe Rabbeinu asks, “Eicha Esah Levadi” How can I bear alone (on my own) your trouble, burdens and quarrels?” (Deut. 1:12). Hidden in the word Eicha we find many powerful messages. The gematria of Eicha is 36, equal to the number of prohibitions for which one gets karet, spiritually cut-off chas v’Shalom. Therefore, one of the intents of Eicha is to propel us to reconnect to our inner truth and repair what is broken in our lives. We are destined to go from churban (destruction) to chibur (connection). How?
The first time the word Eicha is found in the Torah it is presented as a question asked by Hashem after the sin of Adam HaRishon. Hashem asks, “Ayeka” (same letters as the word Eicha but pronounced differently). Adam HaRishon is asked, “Where are you?” During the mourning period of the three weeks, we too are urged to search for our inner truth.
Just as Hashem looked to find Adam then He wishes to see us as well. Even though we too carry a bundle of faults, Hashem still ‘longs’ for us. The passionate call of a Ba’al Teshuva who calls out to Hashem for guidance and compassion uncovers the greatest light from darkness. These are the days of yearning intended to piece together the brokenness of our lives.
The road from darkness to light is found in the question “Where are you?”