Posted by: Leah | August 8, 2011

What Else I am Crying About

Disclaimer: I don’t know what type of Jew I am. I am Jewish Jew. I feel equally comfortable in an Orthodox and Reform shul. Sometimes even more comfortable in an Orthodox…due to many reasons. I don’t like labels. I am a Jew. Below are my thought on Tisha B’Av. Unofficial and non-denominational – or I would rather say Official Leah’s Take on Tisha B’Av and What We Can Do After.

The saddest day in the Jewish calendar will start tomorrow night  – Tisha B’Av – the 9th Day of the month Av, the day when the Second Temple was destroyed. The fast of Tisha B’Av is observed, particularly by Orthodox Jews. Food, drinks, washing, bathing, application cream or oil, leather shoes and intercourse are forbidden.

More on the destruction of the 2nd Temple you can read here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Temple

What I would like to talk about here are the reasons why both Temples were destroyed and what we can do to rebuild.

The First Temple was destroyed because if the sins – idolatry, immorality and bloodshed. Well, We kind’a improved in idolatry. At least, in what was considered to be idolatry back then. I am not quite sure about the other two. But the First Temple was eventually rebuilt.

The Second Temple, according to Talmud, was destroyed because of the hatred among Jews. And here, we still have a long way to go until we reverse that.

Many mass media will ask the same questions tomorrow – Are you, Jews, still crying about the Second Temple even thousands of years later? Yes, we are. We are crying and praying that the Temple will be rebuilt. Yet I do believe we have now more to cry about:

I am crying about our gay Jewish brothers and sisters, still closeted, who might never be able to tell the truth to their communities; I am crying about the abuse in Jewish families that goes unreported; I am crying about low standards of education on many religious schools; I am crying becaus there is so much hatred between Haredim and secular Jews; I am crying because of lack of choice for many religious women; I am crying because instead of trying to understand each other we build more walls and accuse instead of praising.

I am saying all this not because I hate fellow Jews. I ultimately love them, but unless we speak up, nothing will ever change.

So, for me the concept of the  destruction of the 2ndTemple and the 3rd Temple that we are waiting for is spiritual. The Second Temple = understanding between us as people was destroyed, and we instead of rebuilding it got segragated even more. The Third Temple is the eventual peace between us that will bring peace to us as a nation.

I do hope that we will find courage and strength to start our contruction. Have a meaningful fast if you are fasting. If you like me  are on the other side, be kinder. This will be our first brick.

B’shalom,

Leah.

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