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Tisha B'Av
How can we rebuild Jerusalem? Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 July 2015


This Saturday night and Sunday, we will commemorate the sad day of Tisha BAv. The Hebrew date of Tisha BAv, the 9th of the month of Av actually comes out on Shabbat this year. Since it is forbidden to turn Shabbat into a day of mourning Tisha BAv is postponed until right after Shabbat so this year we are commemorating the 9th of Av on the 10th of Av.

 

We are told in the Talmud, Taanit 30b: Anyone who does not mourn for Jerusalem will not witness her joy at the time of the redemption.

 

How do we mourn for Jerusalem?

 

On Tisha BAv we dont eat, drink, wear leather shoes, have marital relations, wash or anoint our bodies. In other words, we make ourselves uncomfortable. We also read Megillat Eicha (Lamentations) and recite Kinot (sad poems about the troubles that befell the Jewish people throughout history). We sit on the floor or on a low stool as a sign of mourning.

 

What else can we do to mourn for Jerusalem?

 

Those who have the opportunity to visit Jerusalem can visit the ruins from the time of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple).

 

When one goes to the Temple Mount they are reminded that Jews are not permitted to walk freely or pray there.

 

On Tisha BAv last year, we didnt have to put ourselves into the mood of mourning as we were already mourning for the soldiers who were killed in Operation Tzuk Eitan. Just turning on the TV or opening up the newspaper gave us plenty to cry about.

 

Ten years ago, we had another reason to cry. Gush Katif was being evacuated and Jews were forced to leave their homes, neighborhoods and businesses which were destroyed. The cemetaries and synagogues were uprooted.

 

What can we do to rebuild Jerusalem?

 

The Talmud, Taanit 26b teaches that one of the happiest days on the Jewish calendar is Tu BAv (The 15th of Av), just a few days after Tisha BAv. How can this be? How can we move on from mourning the destruction to the holiday where men and women would go out to find a spouse in order to build a Jewish home?

 

The holiday of Tu BAv teaches us that we must always work on rebuilding. Just as those who are dating need to focus on building a relationship, the Jewish people need to make an effort to build a relationship with the Land of Israel and those living there. We must continue to help rebuild Israel by building homes, industry, schools, synagogues, community centers and parks. We also have to build relationships with one another.

 

Those who are in Israel can physically build up the land. Those who are not in Israel can visit and support the programs that are being created.

 

If Jewish people from around the world make a conscious effort to build a relationship with the State of Israel and those living there, we will be one step closer to the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash.

 
The Shidduch Crisis and Tisha BAv Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 August 2008

In the Talmud, Shabbat 31a we read the following: “Rava said: When they escort a person to his final, Heavenly judgment after his death, the Heavenly tribunal says to him: Did you conduct your business transactions faithfully? Did you set aside fixed times for Torah study? Did you engage in procreation (asakta befriah ureviah)? Did you wait in the hope of Messianic salvation? …”

 

According to the Maharsha it doesn’t say “kiyamta” (did you observe the mitzvah of procreation), rather it says “asakta” (were you involved in procreation) since it is a mitzvah to marry off an orphan.

 

Even those who, for whatever reason, can’t have children of their own still have the obligation to help find shiduchim (matches) for others in order to bring about more Jewish families who will then be fruitful and multiply.

 

Just as a couple who is having difficulty conceiving will do whatever it takes in order to try to have a child (whether through fertility drugs, in vitro or adoption etc.), spend as much money as needed and go to the ends of the earth, so too should we go out of our way in the realm of helping people find their basherts (destined matches).

 

During these three weeks leading up to Tisha B;Av when we cry for the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) as well as for other tragedies that occurred throughout Jewish history, we should mourn as well for the houses that were never built since the proper shidduchim were never found .

 

Remember, whoever makes a bride and groom happy is like one who built a ruined house from the ruins of Jerusalem.

 

Those who value conducting business in an ethical manner, setting aside time for Torah study and the hope that the Mashiach will come speedily in our day must do what they can to help alleviate the shidduch crisis and help bring about the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash.