Tisha B’Av, 5775…
I am of course very, very sad. Our Temple, destroyed millennia ago, in a strange way keeps us together as a Nation. I want it back. I want the connection with God and with my Jewish family that the existence of the Temple implied.
It is easy to mourn when I have much more recent destruction to “remember,” as if it were my own. The Holocaust is not so far behind us as to be completely rewritten out of history by revisionists. We can still meet and speak with a few survivors of that dreadful period in a world without the Temple.
Only a decade ago, I sat on my kitchen stool in America in front of my computer, praying, sure a miracle would come, and then mourning with many of my brethren at the destruction of the communities in Gush Katif. The destruction that was designed — depending on whom you ask — either to bring peace (which didn’t happen) or to bring down Religious Zionism (which didn’t happen, either). Little by little, the survivors of that painful period of a world without the Temple are beginning to rebuild their lives, most of them successfully. Still the pain persists.
And then there is last summer, a summer filled with daily pain of such magnitude that it actually drove us closer together in our grief, almost enough pain to cause us to love each other enough to repair the damage once and for all…
Last night and this morning were very hard, very painful. I mourned.
Action was required to end this yearly suffering once and for all. I decided that my contribution to repairing the great cosmic rift that keeps the Temple perpetually destroyed would be to make peace with three people who didn’t even know we were fighting.
I decided — thanks to a little (but gigantic) five-minute video by Rabbi Refael Rubin of Netanya and a video series on our mothers Rachel and Leah by Rabbi David Fohrman — that I would try to see the “issues” I was having with these three individuals through their eyes, rather than my own. Once I did that, it was easy to put things into perspective. No reason for a fight. No reason for so-called “baseless” hatred.
Even though I have not yet had the physical shower I desperately crave (right after the cold water, the colder beer, and some actual food — all due in just a few more hours, please God) — I feel like I’ve had a spiritual shower.
I feel lighter. I feel like I actually did something for the Jewish people and for the world. I know. You won’t see it or feel it personally, because these were little flames of hatred burning in my very private heart.
But God will see. If enough of us “fix” some little fire in our souls against another human being, we can repair the world.
Maybe even enough to see our Holy Temple rebuilt, speedily in our days.
What did you fix today? Whatever it is, I’m so proud of you, and so grateful.