Two Views of Tisha 9th b'Av

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

Life isn't simple black and white. Is the "glass half full" or "half empty?" As I sit here on Tisha 9th b'Av fasting, I see Redemption just over the horizon, but I also see so many obstacles. Will we soon be celebrating the Moshiach or not? I'd appreciate your input, thanks.

9th of Av Warning

I just posted a very positive optimistic blog post about the 9th of Av on A Jewish Grandmother,  Only in Israel, 9th of Av. It's on a day like today, when I have two very contradictory messages to post that I'm very happy to have a number of blogs.

The three week period of mourning leading to the 9th of Av and the fasting we do on that day are to remind us that our Land was invaded and Holy Temples destroyed.

Here we are over two thousand years later, and thank the Good Lord we are in a Jewish State. OK, true we do have enemies who unabashedly proclaim their plans to destroy us. As the world stands silently by, rather déjà vu, we have managed to miraculously defeat them time again.

There are even Jews who consider the status quo to be sufficiently good to mandate the cancellation of the fasting and mourning. I would certainly not go that far. I think that observing the fasting and mourning from the 17th of Tammuz to the 9-10th of Av as a still very necessary warning.

The commemoration of the tragedies to to make us remember, a reminder that even a Holy Temple built of heavy stone as grand as the one Herod built can be destroyed. Just read the Torah portion and Haftara our sages chose for the 9th of Av:
 

Complete Tisha B'Av Service, ArtScroll 

Dvarim 4:25When you beget children and children's children, and you will be long established in the land, and you become corrupt and make a graven image, the likeness of anything, and do evil in the eyes of the Lord your God, to provoke Him to anger,
דברים ד, כהכִּי תוֹלִיד בָּנִים וּבְנֵי בָנִים וְנוֹשַׁנְתֶּם בָּאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁחַתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם פֶּסֶל תְּמוּנַת כֹּל וַעֲשִׂיתֶם הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְהַכְעִיסוֹ:
26I call as witness against you this very day the heaven and the earth, that you will speedily and utterly perish from the land to which you cross the Jordan, to possess; you will not prolong your days upon it, but will be utterly destroyed.
כוהַעִידֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן מַהֵר מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים אֶת הַיַּרְדֵּן שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ לֹא תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים עָלֶיהָ כִּי הִשָּׁמֵד תִּשָּׁמֵדוּן:
27And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will remain few in number among the nations to where the Lord will lead you.
כזוְהֵפִיץ יְהֹוָה אֶתְכֶם בָּעַמִּים וְנִשְׁאַרְתֶּם מְתֵי מִסְפָּר בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר יְנַהֵג יְהֹוָה אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה:

Complete Tisha B'Av Service, ArtScroll 

I think that the true, the real lesson of the 9th of Av is only effective if we take it as a warning. We shouldn't think that because we have a Jewish State today, which is one of the most successful countries in the world, that we will all live happily ever after. Life isn't that simple.

Our Kingdom was invaded, the Temples destroyed and we were exiled twice before.

The State of Israel is a good start, but we are still far from Redemption, far from the Messianic Era. We, the Jewish People, still suffer terrible internal strife. Although there are good Jews preparing for Kohen, Priestly, Worship at the Holy Temple, we have not yet begun building the Third Temple. We do have prayers in the Hebron Cave of the Patriarchs, but there is not yet Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount.

The State of Israel still refuses to be sovereign on not only the Temple Mount but the entire Land of Israel.

We have such a long way to go unfortunately. I do see progress. There was a time, not all that long ago, when you couldn't even hear anyone mentioning the subjects. But still we must hurry before Gd loses patience with us and decides that we are to be exiled yet again.

Next year, Gd willing, may there be feasts, not fasts on the 9th of Av. Gd willing with full Jewish Sovereignty the Third Temple will appear as the building commences, like the Red Sea parted when Nachshon stepped in.

It's up to us!

Only in Israel, 9th of Av

As much as people like to kvetch that the State of Israel doesn't function as a truly "Jewish State," there still isn't any country in the world more Jewish than Israel. Today is the 9th of Av, called Tisha b'Av in Hebrew. And if you think it's hard to find a good choice of restaurants open during Passover or Shabbat, then you're in for a bad surprise if you want to eat out today. Besides in non-Jewish neighborhoods, there won't be much to choose from. Many stores are closed or open shorter hours, too.

It's not as quiet as Yom Kippur, but the 9th of Av National Day of Mourning and fasting has cast a pall and keeps people at home.

And some of you may have noticed that all of a sudden Israeli men in all walks of life, including media, politicians etc. suddenly look sort of scruffy. They haven't been shaving. You're not supposed to cut your hair (including shaving) during the three weeks (some only observe this the week) before the 9th of Av.

Yesterday, after the weather forecast on the radio, they announced when the fast was to begin in various locations. Do you get that in Monsey, Boca or Stamford Hill?
 

Oops! Or is this "all Greek" to you? Did I lose you when mentioning 9th of Av?


The 9th day of the Jewish Month of Av is the saddest day on the Jewish Calendar. It's the anniversary of the destruction of both Holy Temples and the total occupation of Jerusalem by foreign invaders. Yes, both Temples were destroyed in the same deadly season hundreds of years apart. The Jewish People have commemorated this for thousands of years.

Here we are in the Land of Israel with a Jewish State. Things may not be perfect yet, but we're only human. It's not so simple to evolve from exile to Redemption, but I have no doubt that we're on our way, Gd willing. Yes, I just wrote "Gd willing," but it's up to us. Each time we take the right step, Gd will step in with "matching funds" and help us to help ourselves.
 

Tzom Kal

Easy Fast to Those Fasting