The struggle against causeless hatred

July 13, 2017 20:07

If there is anything that we should do during these three weeks, it is to battle against Jewish disunity, against the lack of respect for others, against causeless hatred.

4 minute read.

The Knesset building

The Knesset building. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

We have now entered a period of time – the three weeks between 17 Tamuz and 9 Av – when we recall the events leading to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. Added to that is the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE and other tragic events, such as the expulsion from Spain in 1492. There are different customs observed at this time, some more strict than others, and there are those (this writer included) who question how much mourning there should be at this time when Jewish sovereignty has been restored and Jerusalem is hardly the abandoned, destroyed ruin depicted in so much of the liturgy and dirges written to be recited in this period.

From a historical point of view, there is a dispute as to whether Tisha Be’av was observed during the period of time between the return to Zion from Babylonia and the destruction of the Second Temple. After all, the prophet Zechariah had predicted that these days of mourning would become “occasions for joy and gladness, happy festivals for the House of Judah” (8:19) when the Temple would be rebuilt – as it was. Should there not be a similar recognition of what has happened in this time as well, at the very least a relaxation of some of the mourning customs?


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