It's raining outside and I sit here in my house in New York, USA, thinking about how soon it will be Shabbos. The funny thing is that the onset of Shabbos also means Tisha b'Av is almost here.
It's a weird dichotomy, having Shabbos and Tisha b'Av right next to each other. It's almost like the transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha'Atzmaut, only backwards. Shabbos is a day where we're not supposed to show signs of mourning. We're supposed to be b'simcha - having three meals and wine, etc. We're not allowed to fast on Shabbos. Shabbos trumps all fast days except Yom Kippur (and Yom Kippur is not a sad day or a day of mourning). And yet as soon as Shabbos ends, we go immediately into Tisha b'Av.
I think transition plays a huge role in Judaism. We are constantly transitioning between different levels of kedusha, different kinds of relationships with God, kodesh to chol, chol to kodesh, celebration to mourning, mourning to celebration...
We have to be able to cope with all these transitions. We have sad times, we have happy times, and often they're one right after the other. Not so long after Tisha b'Av, we have Tu b'Av, which is a much happier day.
Transitions like these keep us active participants in our religion and in our relationship with God. Constant change means we have to constantly be focusing our mindset on different emotions. And a transition like going from Shabbos straight into Tisha b'Av really brings out the stark difference between the two. Shabbos - a day of three meals, lechem mishna, kiddush, singing. Tisha b'Av - a day of fasting, mourning, kinos. And maybe it'll make Tisha b'Av even more real, because we'll still have the taste of Shabbos lingering - but gone - while we step into such a sad day. And it'll be much easier to feel the sadness of Tisha b'Av because of that.
It's hard to mourn over something we've never experienced. But going from Shabbos to Tisha b'Av might help the imagination and stir up feelings of real mourning over an intense relationship with God that we once had.
And hopefully the full geulah will come soon so that by next year, we won't be able to say we don't know what it feels like to have a Beis Hamikdash.