Gedalyah Reback

Tisha B’Av’s Lesson for Israelis: Cut the Crap

As Tisha B’Av ends in Israel, it remains to be seen if the various communities learned from the holiday, having enough introspection to know that the rhetoric between Haredi and Dati Leumi Jews is absolutely unacceptable and a complete contradiction of the spirit of the Mo’ed that is 9 Av.

Why is it awkwardly referred to as a Mo’ed in some sources, anyway??? For every speech and article that tries to figure it out and tear the issue apart, the obvious answer is in the definition: the term has the same Hebrew root as “Va’ad,” a committee or “Edut,” community. The idea is to compel diverging people to come back together.

Rabbi Shalom Cohen set one of the worst pre-Tisha B’Av examples in recent memory. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

I’ve personally found Rabbinical conduct to be egregious over the last few months. Haredi rhetoric has been in the headlines, but you don’t have to go far on social networks to find Modern Orthodox and Dati Leumi young Rabbis making their fair share of comments either.

Even if you completely, completely disagree with my assessment of either group, it’s hard to argue that the tension is at a disappointing level. Seriously, cut the crap. If you are right and the other party is wrong, don’t treat them like the bottom of your shoe. Hold back your rage; hold back your venom. Things can only get more visceral and emotional.

Pulllll back from the brink, everyone. It will be difficult, but the more you swallow your pride and listen rather than scream, the quicker we’ll be to redemption. At the very least, the further we’ll be from disaster. There is much more important stuff to stress about. Let’s figure out the army. Let’s figure out employment. Let’s figure out chastity. Let’s figure out praying. Let’s figure out Shabbat and Kashrut.

We have no time to treat other like this. We’ve got a world to illuminate.

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About the Author
Gedalyah Reback is an experienced writer on technology, startups, the Middle East and Islam. He also focuses on issues of personal status in Judaism, namely conversion.