web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Tisha B’Av- The Lessons of Jerusalem 5773

.

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Every year, one of the greatest challenges going into Tisha B’Av is the statement of the Gemara Yerusalmi “A generation in which the Temple is not built is considered to be one in which it was destroyed” (Yerushalmi, Yoma 1:10). The Gemara also tells us that, the people at the time of the destruction studied Torah, observed the mitzvot and performed good deeds. Their great failure was in sinat chinam- baseless hatred. It was internal strife and conflict that ultimately brought about the Temple’s destruction( Yoma 9b). The logical conclusion that one must take from these two Gemarot, is that if in our days the Temple is still not rebuilt, then our generation is still suffering from the ills of sinat chinam, which was the cause of the original destruction.

The Netziv (Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda of Berlin), in his introduction to the book of Bereshit, writes that the cause of sinat chinam during the time of the Second Temple was that people believed that they had a monopoly on Avodat Hashem. He says that when people saw others worshiping Hashem in the way that they deemed unfitting, they would declare them to be heretics. These people were not doing anything wrong, on the contrary they were finding their own unique expression in serving Hashem but since it did not fit into what was thought to the “right” world view, it was deemed heretical, which ultimately led to in fighting amongst the Jews and the destruction of the Temple. As the Netziv writes that Hashem cannot stand “Tzadikim” like these and because of this the Temple was destroyed.

The question that should confront us each and every year, is how are we going to change this year, so that the Temple will be re-built speedily in our days? Rav Kook writes that, “If we were destroyed, and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild ourselves, and the world with us, with baseless love — ahavat chinam. (Orot HaKodesh vol. III, p. 324)

How are we able to develop this trait of ahavat chinam, which if we are successful in that endeavor will bring about the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple? I believe that the answer can begin with the gemara in Meschet Ta’anit . The gemara writes that – “Whoever mourns for Jerusalem will merit sharing in her joy” Ta’anit 30b). After a cursory glance of this Gemara it begs the question, why did the Sages say that those who mourn Jerusalem will merit seeing it ‘in its joy’? It would be more consistent to say that they will merit seeing Jerusalem, restored and rebuilt. After all, the mourning is because of the destruction of the city?

Rav Kook in Mo’adei HaRe’iyah explains as follows, the Sages knew that when the city of Jerusalem would again be rebuilt everyone alive at the time would witness the rebuilding of the city. Even those people who did not mourn, or realize that there was anything lacking in its destruction, would see it rebuilt. Therefore, the Sages are telling us, it is true that many people will see Jerusalem rebuilt, however only those who mourned for its destruction, will “merit sharing in her joy” feeling the joy and excitement of its rebuilding.

Though Rav Kook has explained why the Sages chose the words that they did, it is still puzzling why the Gemara wrote “Whoever mourns for Jerusalem” and not “whoever mourns for the Temple”? I believe that within the identity of the city of Jerusalem, there are fundamental lessons that need to be internalized, without which rebuilding the Temple will be a very daunting task.

The Gemara in Bava Kama 82b lists ten Mitzvot ,which were not practiced in the city of Jerusalem, including making the declaration of an “ir ha-nidachat” (idolatrous city), etc. The reason given in the Gemara for this unique status was that Jerusalem, unlike all other portions of The Land of Israel, was not divided amongst any of the tribes.

The Gemara Yoma 12a continues in a similar theme and writes that houses may not be rented out in Jerusalem because “it (Jerusalem) is not theirs.” Meaning, the halakha that Jerusalem was not divided among the tribes means, in a practical sense, that Jerusalem does not belong to us. The status of Jerusalem transcends the individual , is not the private property or personal acquisition of any person in Israel, but rather is a part of Klal Yisrael collectively.

About the Author: The writer is a member of the Emek Learning Center, a new community Kollel for Anglos on Emek Refaim, headed by Rav Azarya Berzon and Rav Shalom Myers. Additionally, he is the Jerusalem Campus Rabbi for The Aardvark Israel immersion program. He served as Av Bayit and Gemara Ra”m at Yeshivat Orayat, a post High School Yeshiva in the Old City. Originally from Lancaster, PA, he moved to Israel in 2007 and lives with his wife in Jerusalem.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Tisha B’Av- The Lessons of Jerusalem 5773”

  1. Albert G Tan says:

    NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.
Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears
Latest Blogs Stories
Netanyahu at UN GA

My good friend Ruthie Blum and I don’t agree about the value of Bibi’s speech; she’s too optimistic.

photo-12

Regardless of your opinion on the hareidi community, the food is delicious and super-duper kosher!

terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to the UNGA, Sept. 29, 2014.

Bibi speaks resolutely in forums like the UN but we don’t see that strength on the ground here.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking but no, I haven’t lost my mind and no, I am not kidding.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Discover the motivations and the emotions that may affect investing.

This piece partner- no it was not a spelling mistake- they desire piece after piece of our Land.

President Obama showed courageous leadership with his decision to attack “Islamic State” despite the unavoidable ensuing collateral damage.

The solution to the friction with Hareidim on El Al flights is so simple and obvious, it amazes me that it hasn’t been implemented yet.

Global resources flow to young and capable descendants of Arabs who left Palestine over 60 years ago

There was a problem: A different speech, in part, was delivered on September 27

Obama’s speech was the epitome of chutzpah and hypocrisy.

After Israeli-Arab and Zionist Mohammed Zoabi expressed his support for Israel, he was forced to go into hiding for his safety…

Here is your chance to show your appreciation to the IDF!

More Articles from Josh Gerstein
.

Every year, one of the greatest challenges going into Tisha B’Av is the statement of the Gemara Yerusalmi “A generation in which the Temple is not built is considered to be one in which it was destroyed”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/tisha-bav-the-lessons-of-jerusalem-5773/2013/07/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: