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A Meditation For The 9 Days

6 1 0
12.07.2021

The period which began this past Saturday marks the most powerful time of collective mourning in the Jewish calendar. Jews count the days from the first day of the month of Av until the 9th, when the two temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. Talmud directs the Jewish people, “when Av begins, minimize Joy.” (Taanit 26b)

The sages inform us that Jews should view the destruction of the Temples which precipitated the mourning practices as reactions to the actions of the people at those times:

Why was the First Temple destroyed? On account of three offenses: Idolatry, licentiousness, and murder…yet the second Temple, a period when Jews learned Torah, performed Mitzvoth, and did acts of loving-kindness, why was it destroyed? On account of baseless hatred. This teaches that baseless hatred weighs as much as Idolatry, licentiousness, and murder (Yoma 9b)

Why was the First Temple destroyed? On account of three offenses: Idolatry, licentiousness, and murder…yet the second Temple, a period when Jews learned Torah, performed Mitzvoth, and did acts of loving-kindness, why was it destroyed? On account of baseless hatred. This teaches that baseless hatred weighs as much as Idolatry, licentiousness, and murder (Yoma 9b)

Many people world over finished Tractate Yoma this past week just as the “9 days” began. And in this same section, the Talmud informs us that baseless hatred is as bad as the worst transgressions.

Even knowing this famous passage, the Jewish people seem to be more fractured and meaner to each other than I can remember. Israel changed from a rallying cry for unity to a source of loud and hostile arguments. With the publication of the latest Pew........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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