What should we be doing today as a “tikun;” i.e., what can we do to repair the sins of the past of the 17th of Tammuz?
We note five calamitous events today: 1) Moshe descended and broke the first set of tablets when he saw the golden calf and the festivities, 2) The daily sacrifice was suspended during the first Temple period, 3) The Jerusalem city wall was breached during the second Temple period, 4) A Greek Officer, Apostumas burned the Torah and 5) An idol was placed inside the Sanctuary.
Numbers 1 and 5 are about idol worship. We have a hard time relating to idol worship today. Idol worship allowed a person to behave in a licentious manner. No rules – no boundaries. So the repair for these two events today might well be to not bow to the “woke bullies,” to have the courage to speak up and defend Torah values however and whenever we can make a difference.
Number 2 is about the sacrifices. We as Jews need to learn and understand these sacrifices. Each sacrifice was for a different purpose and it made an impression if an animal was being killed and one contemplated it could have been him. No, we don’t know if sacrifices will be part of our future but understanding the underlying rationale enhances our humility.
Number 3 is about the initial destruction of Jerusalem. The repair is to help rebuild our holy city. Lots we can do here. For those that don’t live here, visit often. For those that do, invest, support and get involved in our future and thank HaShem with a full heart for our return.
Number 4 is about burning a Torah scroll, the ultimate disrespect. The repair is to dedicate more time to learn Torah and to remember its holiness. To kiss a mezuzah, to kiss the Torah, to help write a Torah are all real actions we can do to repair our past.
Lastly and most important, remember we accuse the evil doers we do not blame the victims. We can certainly look internally at our shortcomings and what we should have done but we need to remember that the Greeks of the Hanukah story, the battles of which lasted 25 years – and the Romans and all our enemies over our history were evil and ultimately need to be held accountable. MAY THEY BE PUNISHED IN THIS WORLD and if not here in the next.