Inside Israel

Hello and welcome to another Sunday where I post something special from J of Jerusalem.  (Thank you so much, J!)  Today she gives us an understanding of Tisha b’Av. Enjoy!

I suffer far more from the cold (believe it or not!) then from the heat.  I can always wet down my shirt, or my hair, or just my wrists if it’s a real scorcher…but today was different.  We have several models of buses here reflecting the changes over the years.  Some have air-conditioning…some have air-conditioning ‘after a fashion’…and some have, well, bigger windows.  We also have ‘long buses’ which are two buses connected by an accordion center.  Today was well into the 90s (f), between 33 -37 (c), but on the bus…wow!  It was an oven!  I happened to be blessed with an older double bus coming for my trip home from work today.  It was PACKED!  The windows were open, but we were stuck in traffic most of the way so there was very little breeze.  I was struck by the fact that, although most people looked pretty flushed and uncomfortable, I didn’t hear any complaining.

Perhaps that is because we entered the 9 days of intensified mourning (following the 30 days leading up to the mourning) which precede Tisha b’Av (or the 9th of the month of Av on the Hebrew calendar).

I have written about it each year, but this year I felt an urge to learn a little more about some of the ways that it is observed by the more religious Jews.  No.  I am not looking to ‘become more…’ whatever.  I only want to follow Yeshua.  But I DO want to understand, and as I read in 1 Corin this morning, Paul wrote “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more: and to the Jews I became a Jew, that I might win the Jews:…” so, I looked up a religious web site and found some fascinating food for deep thought.  NOT, again, to adopt a tradition or form, but…well…let me share part of a very thought provoking article (if you would like the rest I will be happy to send it, but don’t want to overwhelm you).

First, though, I will refresh you, very briefly, concerning what Tisha b’Av is, and how it is observed.

Tisha b’Av is a day of deep repentance with fasting for our sins and grief over the destructions of the first and second temple and the woes that have befallen the Jewish people.  I, and many believers, join in, praying for the Shekinah Presence of The Lord to once again come to our people and for the fulfillment of Rom 9, 10 and 11.  The book of Lamentations is ‘read’…meditated in…ingested and becomes as real as if Jeremiah wrote it today.  There is much more that I perhaps will share as we approach Tisha b’Av, but I would like your input on this article…and how it applies (or CAN apply) to all of us as believers today.  I think I will share the whole article, but will divide it into two portions, the first half being what I ask to you read (go on if it interests you.)

Here it is.  I must close here for now.  Lovingly, your sis

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LEAST WE FORGET

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach

What do we get from Tisha B’Av?

We Jews have a long memory.

Something that happened almost two thousand years ago comes back to haunt our collective consciousness as if it happened yesterday.

This is what so impressed the French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte when he looked in on a synagogue in Paris on Tisha B’Av and saw Jews sitting on the floor chanting lamentations and shedding tears. After inquiring about the cause for their mourning and hearing that it was the destruction of their Holy Temple in Jerusalem he expressed astonishment that he had heard nothing about this tragedy from his reliable intelligence sources. When it was explained that this event took place close to 1800 years earlier he reportedly declared that a people who can still mourn for their Temple and their homeland after so many years have a real hope for regaining them.

Napoleon distinguished something unique about the long memory of the Jewish people but could not truly understand its meaning.

A Jew mourns the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and the two thousand year exile which followed not out of a sense of nostalgia for the glory and prosperity of bygone days. For a Jew loyal to his conviction that he is the proud member of “a nation of priests and a holy people” who were chosen to receive the Torah at Sinai and to serve as “a light unto the nations” there is much more involved in remembering the past.

Rambam points out (Laws of Fasting 5:1) that the purpose of the fast days which were ordained by our Prophets is to reflect on the mistakes made by our ancestors which were the catalysts for the tragedies which took place on those days mistakes which we perpetuate in our own days. By learning the lesson of history we can hope to avoid repeating it as we take to heart the need to correct those mistakes and fully return to the lofty spiritual level with which we once served our Creator.


Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 5:38 am  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. As I am prepping away for my essay writing class I just have to say I found this extra enlightening 🙂

  2. Studying through 1 Corinthians… I’ve been meditating on chapter 5 today. This definitely gave me MORE food for thought. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m so glad! You have so much to do . . .yikes! Will you be able to keep writing and blogging as well as teaching? I’ll need to prepare myself, in case the blog needs to go! ha! Take care and looking forward to your next posts!

  4. You’re so welcome. I’m so thankful that J lets me do this. It is such a blessing to be able to share the beautiful things she tells me and others on her e-mail list about! God bless you!


Comments are closed.

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