Women in Green organized a reading of the Book of Eichah (Lamentations) on the eve of the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’av, in front of the American Consulate in Jerusalem, on August 4, 2014. An estimated 1500 people took part in the reading and later marched around the walls of the Old City. Tisha B’av commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
Posts Tagged ‘Tisha b'Av’
JERUSALEM- Hundreds of Jews ascended the Temple Mount this morning to mark Tisha B’Av the Jewish national day of mourning and fasting for the destruction of the two Holy Temples, which both stood on the Temple Mount for nearly a millennium until they were destroyed by the Babylonian and Roman empires. The Jewish visitors were met by hundreds of Arab protesters that shouted “Allah Akbar” and “Get Out”. This was the first time in three years that Jewish visitors had been permitted to enter the mount on Tisha B’av.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, the international director of the Temple Institute, who led a large group of Jewish visitors, commented that the group went up to the Temple Mount, considered Judaism’s holiest site in a show of unity.
“Today, on Tisha B’Av, the day upon which the Holy Temple was destroyed, we came together with hundreds of Jews to the Temple Mount to fulfill the commandment of being in the holy place, to pray there for the welfare of the IDF soldiers who are defending all of Israel, and to show that the cycle of endless mourning can only end when the Jewish people are ready to accept responsibility for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple,” said Rabbi Richman.
“That responsibility rests squarely upon our shoulders. The sages of Israel have taught that the Holy Temple can only be rebuilt once the nation has achieved a level of unity and unconditional love. Throughout the past few weeks, our nation has been witness to a level of unity that is almost unprecedented in memory. This is the type of unity and commitment that will enable our generation, with the help of God and with the will of the people of Israel, to rebuild the Holy Temple,” Rabbi Richman added.
In the meantime, the Temple Institute’s campaign to raise money for the architectural plans for the third temple continues to generate interest with over 250 donations after being launched on Indiegogo a few days ago. According to Rabbi Richman, the campaign, which is supposed to turn the message of Tisha B’Av from one of mourning to building, has raised thousands of dollars from hundreds of people worldwide.
The Temple Institute is an educational, not-for-profit organization whose multi-disciplinary studies and outreach focus on the universal significance of the Holy Temple as a house of peace and prayer for all nations.
I’m confused. I want to write about the tragedies occurring in Israel, where our brothers and sisters are forced to endure torment as rockets rain down on them, but I can’t go to that place. I want to connect all of the terrible things that are going on with Tisha B’Av, but my mind sends me a couple of days further, to Tu B’Av.
Because with all of the terrible things that are going on in the world, especially in Israel, it’s hard not to see the Hand of Hashem guiding this whole thing. And when I see Hashem guiding us, even into and out of tragedy, I feel instantly better about our place in the world.
Let’s start from the beginning. This crisis began with the tragedy of our fallen brothers in Israel, our three boys who were taken from us simply because they were Jews. It was a tragedy of the greatest degree, but in that tragedy something unusual happened.
The old joke is that there was an old Jewish man who was rescued from a desert island, and when the search party found him they saw two buildings. “Why two buildings?” the rescuers asked him. “Oh,” the old man replied, “the first one is the shul I daven in; the second one is the shul I won’t set foot in.”
The point is we don’t have the greatest history when it comes to achdus, Jewish unity. Yet when those boys were taken from us there was a level of unity that had been dormant for years. And when Hashem sees us united, He will not fail us.
Which leads me to Moses. Moses sole, to be precise. There is a fish in the Red Sea called moses sole (or pardachirus marmoratus). This fish has an amazing ability to escape predators, including sharks.
The moses sole has toxins it releases so that when a predator gets too close its jaws actually freeze up and it cannot chomp down on the fish.
What’s the point? Right now we can choose to see our situation as dire. We can see our situation in Israel and the world as tragedy. Or we can see that Hashem is ready for our salvation if we’ll only unite and believe in Him – believe He wants us to succeed in a war and in a world where it seems we cannot win. Even when we are in the jaws of the enemy, Hashem is looking out for us, enabling us to survive catastrophe.
Consider the following: Last week Israeli security sources told the Israeli daily Maariv that Hamas had been preparing a massive assault on Israeli civilians this coming Rosh Hashanah. The plot was uncovered by Israeli soldiers operating in Gaza.
Who knows what battles Hashem is fighting for us behind the scenes? Who knows what kind of catastrophes have been aborted as a result of Israel’s incursion into Gaza? Hashem had been planning our salvation before He planned the tragedy that caused it.
Every Shabbos we say Mizmor LeDovid. Every Shabbos we reaffirm our belief that Hashem will protect us. We quote the words of King David: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” He doesn’t say he’s staying in the valley of the shadow of death but rather that he is walking through the valley. In our lives we will often walk through the valley but Hashem doesn’t want us to stay there. He wants us to walk out of it. It’s more than His “desire” – Hashem is planning our redemption, if we would just unite and believe in Him.
9:03pm Israel’s two chief Rabbis issued a joint proclamation/halachic ruling that IDF soldiers involved in combat in Gaza may not fast, or observe any of the mourning customs this coming Tisha B’av.
The 9th of Av fast day, which commemorates the destruction of the two Jewish temples in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount.
Because they are in combat and fighting on behalf of the nation of Israel, they are fully exempt so that they can fight properly, with full strength and valor.http://www.jewishpress.com/wp-admin/edit.php
There’s a Talmudic story that reveals a lot about how we should react when facing adversity, and it’s an appropriate one to focus on just days before Tisha B’Av, when both Temples were destroyed in Jerusalem.
The story goes as follows: Rabbi Yossi said, “Once I was traveling on the road and entered one of the ruins of Jerusalem to pray.” Elijah appeared and said, “My son, why did you go into the ruin.” Rabbi Yossi responded, “To pray.” Elijah then said to Rabbi Yossi, “You should have prayed on the road.” Rabbi Yossi answered, “I feared a passerby would interrupt me.” To which Elijah said, “You could have then said a short prayer.”
Rabbi Yossi said he learned several principles from the words of Elijah. First, it is important not to enter a ruin. Second, it is permissible to pray on the road, as long as the prayer is short (Berachot 3a).
What is the message that underlies these principles? Rabbi Shlomo Riskin argues that it’s important to recognize that Rabbi Yossi was a sage who was suffering, living as he did in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple. The prophet tells us Elijah will announce the coming of the Messiah. Elijah is therefore known as the teacher, par excellence, of how to achieve redemption. Thus, Rabbi Yossi states, “I have learned from Elijah important ideas concerning how to turn destruction into rebuilding, galut into geulah, exile into redemption.”
It is first of all important not to enter into rooms that represent tragedy and not to get sidetracked by wallowing in disaster. Elijah was teaching Rabbi Yossi to stay on the road, remain on the course of human action, and attempt to repair the Jewish people, an act through which the whole world will be repaired.
But Elijah also taught a second message. He was teaching that it is important to pray on that road to redemption. But the prayer itself should be short, in order to make time for investing incredible amounts of energy into human activity and initiative.
Life requires a combination of action and prayer. History is a partnership between human endeavor and divine intervention.
A story is told of Rabbi Isaac Blazer, Reb Itzele Petersburger. One day a rumor spread that he was a Zionist. The community decided he would be fired. After all, in the prayers we speak of God as the builder of Jerusalem. Yet Reb Itzele was declaring that he would do his share in building Jerusalem himself. Reb Itzele turned to one of the leaders of the community and responded, “But when your daughter was sick, did you not seek out a doctor, even though God is spoken of in the prayers as the healer of Israel?” And turning to another, Reb Itzele said, “Don’t you do all you can to make a living, even though in our prayers we speak of God as the provider of sustenance?”
One must act as if everything depends on us and pray as if everything depends on God. We must live a life where we honor both sides of these two seemingly contradictory directives –action and prayer.
As we prepare our prayers for Tisha B’Av we must make them meaningful and sincere, yet realize that full service of God is incomplete without action on our part.
(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))
Yishai and Malkah kick off this special Tisha B’Av show by discussing a recent cab trip Malkah took from the Old City to their neighborhood in Jerusalem and the poor attitude of the taxi driver on the eve of Tisha B’Av. They move on to discuss garbage on the street in Jerusalem, and end with Yishai talking about an article of his that was recently posted on Ynet discussing the need for many American Jews to have Kosher hot dogs at their stadium and why their requirement is ridiculous.
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.