Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Tisha B'Av

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


Tisha B'Av, the Ninth of Av, is the day of Mourning for the Temples which were destroyed.

Why do we mourn, so many years later? Would it not make more sense to put the past behind us, and to "work for a brighter tomorrow" instead?

To understand the purpose of mourning on Tisha B'Av, we need to understand the difference between a feeling that one is missing something, lacking, versus a feeling of hopelessness.

We are not simply crying over a building which was destroyed nearly 2000 years ago, crying over burned stones, or even over the lost connection to G-d which it gave us. Like the proverbial "crying over spilled milk," this would be of little value.

Instead, we express our sorrow that we still live in that era, that we've not yet deserved to see the Temple rebuilt. We know that it can happen and that it will happen, and we express our pain that we have not seen it happen already.

Our Sages say that we only forget someone, and feel relief from the pain of mourning, after they die. Yaakov continued to mourn his son Yosef, Joseph, for a full 22 years -- because Yosef was not dead. If we still express the pain, if we still express the sorrow over what we are missing, then our connection to G-d is not dead. It is still alive! We miss it, we cannot feel it or see it, but we know we can have it back -- if only we try harder. They also say: every generation that does not merit to see the rebuilding, is as if it was destroyed in their days. We have not fixed the problems.

It is said that Napoleon once walked by a Jewish synagogue on Tisha B'Av, and he heard crying and wailing from the crowd within. He sent someone to inquire about the tragedy that had happened, and he was told that the Jews were crying over their Temple, which had been destroyed centuries earlier. He apparently said, "any people which can still mourn over something destroyed 1800 years ago, will see that building rebuilt in the future." He understood that this was not simply crying over something lost, but crying over something that had not yet returned.

Just as our actions caused the destruction, our actions can cause its rebuilding. We can "fix the world." Let us work together to reach the point where Tisha B'Av will no longer be a day of mourning, but a day of rejoicing in our rebuilt Temple, quickly and in our own time.


 

ARTICLES ON PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Personal Judge
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Of Zealots and Eretz Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Fundamentals of Zealousness
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Healing Wonders
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Enlightened Leader
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

If The Burden Fits, Bear It
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Eye Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Still Waters Run Deep
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Going Against the Flow
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

ArtScroll

More than Meets the Eye
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

Be Jealous for Hashem
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Talk About Makeovers
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

> No Little Things
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

A Lesson About Our Psyche
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Tzelafchad's Daughters Were Motivated By The Land, Not The Money
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

In Our Best Interest
Rabbi Elly Broch - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information