Don't just mourn the past, fix the present

Rebbetzin Oshra Koren says Tisha B'Av represents a lack of unity among people, a dilemma today's society is still struggling to overcome

Protesters in Jerusalem (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Protesters in Jerusalem
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Commemorating Tisha B’Av isn’t simply mourning for the past, it’s a call to social action to fix problems in present-day society,  Rebbetzin Oshra Koren says. In an interview with, the rabbi discusses the meaning behind Tisha B’Av, the day of mourning marking the destruction of the first and second temples, and how it relates to the current socioeconomic struggles facing Israelis today.
The tent city uprisings protesting high housing and food costs is symbolic of a loss of unity and a greater gap between the rich and the poor, a division that existed in the time of the temples, says Koren, who is the director of Matan Hasharon.“When I think of Tisha B’Av and I’m mourning Tisha B’Av I’m not mourning 2,000 years ago. I’m mourning the situation of 2,000 years ago that still lives with us today.”
She adds: “And we have to learn the lessons and if we don’t learn the lessons of bridging the gaps between the different segments of society, the Temple will not be built. As the rabbis said, that every generation that the temple is not built in, it’s as if it was destroyed in their time.”