Thursday, July 11, 2013

Are We Just Going Through The Motions ?

Unfortunately, we have to observe another Tisha B'av this year. This day is our National Day of Mourning because of several catastrophic events that occurred on this day. The most depressing event that occurred on this day was the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans nearly two thousand years ago. Not only was the central location of Jewish worship destroyed after 420 years of being the spiritual oasis of the nation, but the surviving Jews were banished into exile, while Jerusalem lay in ruins.

The Rabbis declared that day always to be marked with intense mourning. One should refrain from eating, drinking, bathing among other things as well. People come to synagogue and sit on the floor as the Book of Lamentations is chanted in a somber tune.

My question is are we actually feeling the pain and mourning? Does it really bother us that the central location of Jewish worship has disappeared and been replaced with another house of worship by another faith ? 

I ask this especially in light of the root cause of the destruction of the Temple. It was not because people were not observing Shabbos or eating non-Kosher. It was because there was internal division among Jews. It was because mistrust and animosity replaced peace and harmony. It was because we were not sensitive enough to our brothers and sisters. Finally, G-d said if the people have so much friction with themselves, I am withdrawing My Presence. Shortly after, the Romans arrived and destroyed Jerusalem one block at a time until the most sacred area in Judaism was engulfed in flames.

So as we sit on the floor this year and bemoan the fact that there is no Temple in Jerusalem, let us contemplate the state of Jewry today both in here in the diaspora and in the Land of Israel. Let us ask ourselves if we have learned our lesson from the catastrophic events of two thousand years ago ? Why can't we show some mutual respect toward each one another even of the other person is less or more observantWhy does insisting that ones position is the correct one many times end up castigating another individual or an entire segment of Klal Yisrael ? How painful is it to hear that a Jewish soldier walks through a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem and is attacked because others don't agree with his opinion !

Let us look inward this Tisha B'av  and ask ourselves --Are we going to do anything to improve unity among Klal Yisrael? Or are we just going through the motions?

Please share your thoughts.


  1. Well spoken words from your heart, Rabbi...may they penetrate all our hearts and bring Peace.


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