web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 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
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Blogs Stories
Jo-map

Let’s cut to the chase! The people who call themselves Palestinians are simply Arabs (Muslims) who came to this area from several Islamic regimes. This is not my opinion but rather what their leaders clearly say.

YG

Please pray for a complete recovery, רפואה שלימה for Yehuda Yehoshua Ben Rivka Ita Breindel Glick.

12

Obama/Kerry hate Bibi, because he is what they aren’t: smart and was a real soldier in the top unit.

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Here are 5 quick facts that prove Jerusalem was NEVER A Muslim Holy City.

For further proof that there’s no justice for Jews in this world, the United Nations Security sic Council is planning to meet about Israel’s building plans. (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting this week on recent tensions between Israel and the Palestinians in East Jerusalem due to Israel’s plans to build more […]

When is it a good idea to accept a “draw” and when is it better not to do so?

The AlephBet soup of American Jewish organizations must demand an apology and retraction from the Obama Administration to the Jewish People for this crass and vulgar insult to the leader of the Jewish People.

How bad is it? It is a battle royal tearing at the very heart of the yeshiva world.

Zionism brought Yesha to life, attracting Jews and Arabs to the area.

The “bag tax” is eco-terrorism against the Israeli consumer. Have our MK’s reviewed any studies on its environmental impact, or is it all just touchy-feely?

MS. PSAKI: He asked me if we thought he (molotov-cocktail throwing Arab-US citizen was a terrorist, and I said no.

Abbas’s charge of racism spans the entirety of Israeli society.

Why do people often sabotage their own success ?

The best locations for more housing is Yesha and Jerusalem because of convenience and low land cost

Weeping for the heroism of our soldiers, the miracle of our return home, the endless years of exile

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: