This Saturday night is the Ninth of Av; it is a day we use to commemorate all of the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people in general, and the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in particular. The Temple was symbolic of our connection to the Divine, and its destruction symbolized the loss of that connection. Interestingly, in the middle of the day’s liturgy, there is a line that describes the day as a festival. The Talmud understands this to mean that, despite the sadness of the day, it still has the potential to be a day full of joy. The way to change this day from a day of sadness, i.e. a lack of connection, to a day of joy, or connection, is to be aware that the real tragedy the Jewish Nation faces is our lack of unity. The focus of this day needs to be on our attitude toward each other. If we see the good in others and realize that they have the same rights that we do, and look after those who are less fortunate than us, we will merit to rebuild the real Temple — which is the temple in our hearts — and reconnect to the Divine. When we live in unison with the Divine, we will only be surrounded by beauty and kindness. May we all see the fulfillment of what this time should really be: “…a day of joy and happiness…just love, truth, and peace” (Zecharia 8:19).
If you are listening to the news, Israel is burning, and the attacks are more frequent from Hamas. Thank God the Jewish state is able to defend itself! This Sunday we have a major fast day, Tisha B Av, that commemorate many catastrophes that happened on this day.
Wishing everyone a meaningful fast,