The Jewish Eye
What Holy Tears Are Made Of
The Medrash says that when the Bnei Yisroel who were taking captive by Nevuchadnetzar were sitting on the shores of the rivers of Bavel and Yirmiyahu was about to part from them they started crying. Yirmiyahu turned to them and said "Heaven and earth are my witnesses that if you would have cried even once when you were still in Eretz Yisroel you would not have been exiled."
If we read the story of the churban it is impossible to believe that the Bnei Yisroel didn't cry in Eretz Yisroel. There was hunger, murder, mothers eating children, rivers of blood, death, and destruction, all that and they didn't shed a tear?
Rav Shimshon Pincus explains that they cried oceans of tears while they were in Eretz Yisroel. But there tears were for themselves. Tears of pain, tears of anguish for their tzorus. Anyone can cry those tears. Those are not the tears that Hashem wants. When they sat on the rivers of Bavel all alone in a foreign land among foreign people, far from the closeness of Hashem they cried tears of separation, tears of longing for the Shechina. "Gam Bachinu BiZachreinu Es Tziyon"; Tears for Tziyon. If they would have cared about being close to Hashem when the Bais HaMikdash still stood, Hashem would have never sent them to galus. But now it was too late.
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