web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked radical Islamist Al-Nusra rebel group in Syria.
Sources: Al Qaeda Bombed Hezbollah and Framed Israel
Latest Blogs Stories
A Soldier's Mother

My final reaction remains – who builds a mountain of ashes, who turns it into a “tourist” site?

to bibi or not to bibi

Is the recent increase in Arab terror attacks related to the fact that there’s no new government?

HaAchim Gat playing Beit Shemesh

They called it “religious coercion” but it was really “secular coercion” and secular intolerance.

So excited to be a dual- citizen!

One exciting element of traveling is that it was my first time ever doing so as a dual-citizen!

Attackers of this innocent religious solider had been brainwashed that Israel is evil & illegitimate

How can you take care of the one you love and look after your finances at the same time?

Celebrating 67 years of democratic independence, surviving wars&threats; so much to be thankful for!

He was a Torah giant, uniquely exemplifying the Hashkafa of Torah U’Mada (Torah & worldly knowledge)

All Israel walks beside them, holding them in our hearts, listening, our hearts breaking with theirs

I’ve felt that if only we had established these communities sooner, then the victims would not have been killed

Is inflation always bad for the economy, and why is deflation not always an ideal situation?

It is the character of the individual that counts, not his sexual preferences.

Bibi gives a great speech, especially when talking to foreigners, but on policy, he’s very weak.

One of us had the chutzpah to ask him to join the ball game. He said okay and he played aggressively.

Watch this Doug Goldstein video to learn how easy it’s to open a US brokerage account from overseas.

An Israeli TV show about Holocaust Day asserted the Holocaust is/was a European not Jewish tragedy

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: