Friday, August 5, 2011

Tisha BeAb: Food for thought for a day of fasting

As we get closer to Tish'a beAb we restrict more and more our involvement in activities related to basic comfort (laundry, bathing, shaving) as if we were in mourning. These are also days of introspection and repentance. At the end of the day, we admit our own responsibility in the destruction of the Temple and our exile.

We also know that if we do Teshuba (repentance), amending our behavior, haShem will forgive us and embrace us again.

It happened once!

In 586 BCE the First bet haMikdash was destroyed. The Jews of that time were guilty of the three capital sins: idolatry, murder, promiscuity. Eventually, after 70 years in exile they came back to haShem, they repented, changing their behavior and as a result of their Teshuba, they were granted the merit to build the Second Bet haMikdash.

The second Bet haMikdash was destroyed almost 2000 years ago (68 ACE). The Rabbis explain that the Jews of that time were observant of all ritual laws. But they hated each other (sin-at chinam). They would humiliate each other in public, and no one would react to defend the victim. They will speak Lashon haRa (slander), fight for no reason, and show disrespect and intolerance.

That behavior caused the Presence of God to abandon us and His House. The Bet haMikdash, without the Presence of Hashem, was just a pile of bricks and stones... A body without its soul. We allowed God's presence to leave...

My question is: why we don't have the merit, a divine-guided opportunity, to build the THIRD Bet haMikdash NOW? Is God rejecting our repentance?

The answer seems obvious, sad and shocking.

The fact that we still don't have our THIRD Bet haMikdash is indicative that, sadly, we are still guilty of the same sins as we were 2000 years ago.

We have not corrected our 'social sins'. Fight, intolerance, jealousy, slander and hatred have become part of an acceptable behavior.

It seems that only when we will become more tolerant, more united, more respectful and feel more responsible for each other, we will have our chance to rebuild the Bet haMikdash.

It is very much, up to us.

Read HERE "What happened on Tish'a beAb?"

Read HERE "Restrictions on Tish'a beAb" (part 1)

Read HERE "Restrictions on Tish'a beAb" (part 2)

Read HERE "Rules for the day of Fasting"