web analytics
February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Bringing Hashem Back Into Our Midst: A Tisha B’Av Message

Front-Page-071213

We are still in galus. Another year has gone by, a difficult year in many ways, but Mashiach has not yet arrived, the Beis HaMikdash has not yet been rebuilt and we are still languishing in exile.

Tragically, discord and disunity are not strangers in our midst.

Religion has been under fire, both in the United States and in Israel. Legislative initiatives have been made that in many ways infringe on our religious tenets and compromise our ability to try to live morally upstanding lives and educate our children in that way.

Unfortunately, even in Israel, the contribution of those who observe religion and learn Torah is often underappreciated.

Perhaps even more heartbreaking is the fact that even within our own communities there has been plenty of discord and baseless hatred. We know that sinas chinam – baseless hatred – was the primary reason for the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash and is a primary force preventing the rebuilding of the third and final Beis HaMikdash.

Let us delve into the words of our sages regarding the cause of the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash and perhaps internalize the lessons needed to be learned so that we will merit the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash and the ultimate redemption.

Scourge of Sinas Chinam

At the time of His wrath, He went up and sat in the highest of High Places. Bnei Yisrael screamed and they were not answered; they cried and their voices were not heard. They decreed a fast and sat and wallowed in the dust, and they covered themselves with sackcloth and shed tears like streams of water, and all of them wept, from the oldest to the youngest, and they were not heard. Why was this? Because of baseless hatred, which is worse before Hashem than all of the transgressions and sins in the world (Midrash Pisaron Torah, end of Parshas Ha’azinu).

It is evident from Chazal that the primary factor that led to the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash was the terrible sin of sinas chinam that existed among the Jewish people. The very first words of Megillas Eichah also allude to this, as the Rishonim point out that the initial letters of the first seven words of the megillah – “Eichah yashvah vadad ha’ir rabbasi am hayesah”/ “Alas, she dwells alone, the city great in people has become” – form the Hebrew words eivah ra’ah, “bad enmity.”

SMaK elaborates on this: “For the punishment for sinas chinam is very great, for those who had committed the three cardinal sins were redeemed after seventy years, while those whose only sin was baseless hatred were sent into an exile whose end has still not been revealed.”

While we understand that sinas chinam is a very grave sin, why were Bnei Yisrael punished for it specifically by losing the Beis HaMikdash? What is the connection between this aveirah and the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash?

The Shechinah and Unity

The function of the Beis HaMikdash was to provide a means for the Shechinah to reside within the Jewish people. This is clear from Hashem’s initial commandment to build the Mishkan (Shemos 25:8) – “They shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them” – and from the Torah’s later statement (ibid. 29:44-45), “I will sanctify the Tent of Meeting…and I will dwell in the midst of Bnei Yisrael.”

The Vilna Gaon teaches in his commentary on Mishlei (6:19) that the Shechinah rests on the Jewish people only when total unity exists among them: “When Bnei Yisrael are united, then the Shechinah rests on Yisrael…but when there are ‘conflicts among brothers,’ then, ‘My Soul is revolted’ (Vayikra 26:30).”

This idea is conveyed by the Zohar as well to explain the pasuk (Iyov 23:13), “He is in one, and who will respond to Him?” The Zohar explains that Hashem rests His Shechinah upon the Jewish people only when they are as one, united as if with a single heart and not divided by envy or enmity; then, they are like the Heavenly angels, about whom it says (in the prayer of Yotzer Ohr), “They all accept upon themselves the Kingship of Heaven…all of them as one.”

The Entire Nation Built the Mishkan

About the Author: Rav Dovid Hofstedter is the author of the “Dorash Dovid” seforim on the Torah and Moadim. He is also the founder and nasi of Dirshu – a worldwide Torah movement dedicated to accountability in Torah learning among all segments of Klal Yisrael that has impacted more than 100,000 participants since its inception fifteen years ago.


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.

No Responses to “Bringing Hashem Back Into Our Midst: A Tisha B’Av Message

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Said Arikat, al-Quds Washington, D.C. reporter. Jan. 29, 2015
Said Says (Falsely): ‘Israel flooding Gaza with Waste Water’
Latest Indepth Stories
Netanyahu in a previous address to Congress-

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Korenblit-022715

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

NY City Councilman David Greenfield: "They are angry because Hitler did not finish the job."

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

Levmore-022715

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

“Je Suis..,” like its famous origin 400 years ago, implies the ability & freedom to think & question

Many anti-Israel demonstrations at universities have a not-so-latent anti-Semitic agenda as well

Believing a few “extremists” hijacked Islam is myopic in history and geography, numbers and scope

More Articles from Rav Dovid Hofstedter
Front-Page-041814

Perhaps worse than all the above is the acute lack of unity among Jews

Front-Page-083013

Achdus, unity, is a term that warms the heart. It is an ideal we all aspire to achieve but often find so elusive.

We are still in galus. Another year has gone by, a difficult year in many ways, but Mashiach has not yet arrived, the Beis HaMikdash has not yet been rebuilt and we are still languishing in exile.

“Therefore we are obligated to give thanks…to the One Who performed all these miracles for our forefathers and for us. He took us out from slavery to freedom…and from servitude to redemption.” – Haggadah shel Pesach

Every Jew’s soul is a piece of the Divine essence, hewn from beneath the Throne of Glory.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/bringing-hashem-back-into-our-midst-a-tisha-bav-message/2013/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: