Monday, July 12, 2010

FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR A DAY OF FAST

Today is the 1st day –Rosh Chodesh- of the month of Av.

This Shabbat I prayed in the Synagogue 'Rabban Yochanan ben Zakay'. I would like to share with you a Debar Torah I heard there from Rabbi Eliyahu Medina, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of the Old City.

The days of Av are days of mourning and introspection (teshuva). Mourning because our two Bet haMikdash were destroyed on Tisha beAv. We avoid having extra happiness these days... And introspection because we know that God would not have allowed His Holy House to be destroyed if we would have kept our Torah in holiness and righteousness. And since God Almighty does not allow NOW the third Bet haMikdash to be rebuilt, we should assume that we are still accountable for the same transgressions our ancestors were.

Let me explain: the first Bet haMikdash was destroyed because the Jews of the time incurred on the sins of idolatry, murder and promiscuity. But we know that they repented and amended their ways, and this is why the Almighty allowed them to have a second Bet haMikdash.

The second Bet haMikdash was destroyed because of 'Sinat Chinam': animosity between a Jew and his brother. Hatred, jealousy, disrespect.

Now, if the Almighty does not allow 'the third Bet haMikdash' to be rebuild, it can mean only one thing: that, unfortunately, we are still practicing 'Sinat Chinam'.

That we have not YET amended our ways, at least, in that specific aspect.