Tisha B’av is about Repentance not the Temple Mount

The highlight of my Tisha Bav is going to the Kotel. Each year as I have written about on my IsraelB website, since making Aliyah including this one, I have gone to the kotel and on my walk there and back, thought about how lucky we are to be living in Yerushalayim.

Furthermore, even though I have never gone up, anyone who has learnt the Jewish Bible and the Talmud knows that the Temple Mount is a sacred place for us Jews.

But, that is not my point. My point is that Tisha B’av as about doing Teshuva ( Repentance) more than going to the Kotel and even up to the Temple Mount.

Maimonides at the beginning of Hilchot Taanit says that public fast days are all about returning to G-d and mending our ways. The Talmud in several places gives many, many reasons why the Temples were destroyed. The prayers we say in the additional service tell us why the Temples were destroyed. The prayers on Tisha B’av tell us why the Temples were destroyed. The haftara on Tisha B’av tells us why the Temples were destroyed.

The reasons why the Temples were destroyed was because of OUR failing as human being and OUR sins. The reason why the Temple has not been rebuilt is because of US – Not G-d, or our enemies or even Trump.

The destruction of the Temples were a reflection of OUR religious, ethical and spiritual failings, resulting from defects in us an individuals and as a people at large. The way we treated each other, causeless hatred, lack of respect for our Torah scholars, lack of social justice, morality and unity in society, as well as murder, idolatry and immoral conduct etc

Tisha Bav is about mending our ways as individuals and people and mourning the loss of our connection with G-d as a result of the destruction of the Temples.

G-d took the Temples away as we were not worthy of them, and G-d will only allow us to get them rebuilt when we are ready.

Going to the Kotel or even going up to the Temple Mount which some do, maybe within the spirit of Tisha B’av but won’t bring about the rebuilding of the Temple that we all yearn for – Only WE will.

About the Author
Benjy Singer works in social media, content writing and editing. He runs a popular online community, IsraelB.org, which is a very useful resource, especially for Olim. A graduate of the LSE, UCL and Yeshivat Har Etzion, Benjy enjoys writing, teaching and connecting people.
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