Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The three week period of mourning leading to the 9th of Av and the fasting we do on that day are to remind us that our Land was invaded and Holy Temples destroyed.

Here we are over two thousand years later, and thank the Good Lord we are in a Jewish State. OK, true we do have enemies who unabashedly proclaim their plans to destroy us. As the world stands silently by, rather déjà vu, we have managed to miraculously defeat them time again.

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There are even Jews who consider the status quo to be sufficiently good to mandate the cancellation of the fasting and mourning. I would certainly not go that far. I think that observing the fasting and mourning from the 17th of Tammuz to the 9-10th of Av as a still very necessary warning.

The commemoration of the tragedies to to make us remember, a reminder that even a Holy Temple built of heavy stone as grand as the one Herod built can be destroyed. Just read the Torah portion and Haftara our sages chose for the 9th of Av:

Complete Tisha B’Av Service, ArtScroll 

 

Dvarim 4:25When you beget children and children’s children, and you will be long established in the land, and you become corrupt and make a graven image, the likeness of anything, and do evil in the eyes of the Lord your God, to provoke Him to anger,

דברים ד, כהכִּי תוֹלִיד בָּנִים וּבְנֵי בָנִים וְנוֹשַׁנְתֶּם בָּאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁחַתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם פֶּסֶל תְּמוּנַת כֹּל וַעֲשִׂיתֶם הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְהַכְעִיסוֹ:

26I call as witness against you this very day the heaven and the earth, that you will speedily and utterly perish from the land to which you cross the Jordan, to possess; you will not prolong your days upon it, but will be utterly destroyed.

כוהַעִידֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן מַהֵר מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ לֹא תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים עָלֶיהָ כִּי הִשָּׁמֵד תִּשָּׁמֵדוּן:

27And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will remain few in number among the nations to where the Lord will lead you.

כזוְהֵפִיץ יְהֹוָה אֶתְכֶם בָּעַמִּים וְנִשְׁאַרְתֶּם מְתֵי מִסְפָּר בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר יְנַהֵג יְהֹוָה אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה:

Complete Tisha B’Av Service, ArtScroll 

I think that the true, the real lesson of the 9th of Av is only effective if we take it as a warning. We shouldn’t think that because we have a Jewish State today, which is one of the most successful countries in the world, that we will all live happily ever after. Life isn’t that simple.

Our Kingdom was invaded, the Temples destroyed and we were exiled twice before.

The State of Israel is a good start, but we are still far from Redemption, far from the Messianic Era. We, the Jewish People, still suffer terrible internal strife. Although there are good Jews preparing for Kohen, Priestly, Worship at the Holy Temple, we have not yet begun building the Third Temple. We do have prayers in the Hebron Cave of the Patriarchs, but there is not yet Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount.

The State of Israel still refuses to be sovereign on not only the Temple Mount but the entire Land of Israel.

We have such a long way to go unfortunately. I do see progress. There was a time, not all that long ago, when you couldn’t even hear anyone mentioning the subjects. But still we must hurry before Gd loses patience with us and decides that we are to be exiled yet again.

Next year, Gd willing, may there be feasts, not fasts on the 9th of Av. Gd willing with full Jewish Sovereignty the Third Temple will appear as the building commences, like the Red Sea parted when Nachshon stepped in.

It’s up to us!

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