A new online series focuses on Jewish tragedies ahead of one Tisha Be'av. Tisha Be'av, falling on the Ninth of Av in the Hebrew calendar, is a solemn day of mourning and fasting in the Jewish tradition, primarily commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
Over time, it has come to represent a day of collective mourning for various tragedies that befell the Jewish people throughout history. Central to this day of mourning are the Kinot, elegies that poignantly convey the profound sorrow and yearning for a restored relationship with God.
One such event remembered is the Bar Kochba rebellion, a fervent Jewish revolt against the Roman occupation from 132-135 CE, which resulted in catastrophic losses for the Jewish community and deepened their exile from Jerusalem.
In an effort to deepen the connection to this significant day, World Mizrachi has introduced a new selection of videos as part of their free online series called "Kinot on Location." Representatives of the organization, from both Israel and around the globe, delve into these traditional lamentations, offering explanations and insights straight from the historical sites where these tragedies have unfolded.
Rabbi Doron Perez, Executive Chairman of World Mizrachi, shed light on the contemporary challenge of connecting with the deep sorrow and mourning practices of Tisha Be'av in an age where Jewish communities worldwide are flourishing. "This series aims to bridge this gap, helping audiences revisit and appreciate the sense of loss felt by Jews throughout history,” he explained.
History of tragedy
The series canvasses the vast timeline of Jewish history, from events like the Bar Kochba rebellion, to the Holocaust, and the terror attacks of the twentieth century. Featuring 18 English films, with a selection in Spanish and French, viewers can immerse themselves at their convenience on the Mizrachi website. Notable figures, including Rabbi Hanoch Teller, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon, and Rabbanit Shani Taragin, offer their insights as presenters.
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, a distinguished community figure and historian, introduced the series emphasizing the deeper spiritual rift that the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash signifies.
“It's not merely about the physical devastation but the spiritual distance it placed between the people of Israel and God,” he remarked, resonating with the core sentiment of the Kinot. “We hope and pray for a future where this closeness is renewed, heralded by the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash."
Highlighting the pressing relevance of these messages today, Perez drew attention to the rising divisiveness in Israeli society and the broader Jewish world.
The "Kinot on Location" series offers a transformative perspective, allowing Jews worldwide to connect with their shared history and enhance their understanding of Tisha Be'av.
The videos are available for viewing here.