Mourning is not enough, we need to repair

Any generation in whose time the Beit HaMikdash is not rebuilt, it is as if it was destroyed in that generation.

Phil Chernofsky ,

Jews visit Temple Mount
Jews visit Temple Mount
Flash 90

26+ years ago, Torah Tidbits was born on the week of Parshat Sh'lach. Main theme - sin of the spies. We took it as a mission. Chizuk and Idud, to borrow the title of Rabbi Roness's weekly column. Jews who have not yet committed themselves to Aliya need our gentle and somethings not so gentle encouragement (IDUD). And those of us who have made Aliya, need the occasional booster shot (CHIZUK).

Many years ago, I confronted an old Chassid on a Shabbat morning, who was standing on the highway divider of K'vish Mispar Echad, shouting Shabbes Shabbes, with streams of cars to his right and to his left.

I won't go into the deeply distressing details of our 'conversation', but I will share one question he asked, and my answer. He said, "Who do you consider worse - them for driving on Shabbat or me for yelling Shabbes Shabbes."

My answer was: "You. Because most Chilul Shabbat today (not all) can be attributed to ignorance, improper education, negative experiences in their upbringing, and the like. But you should know better and work positively to bring not-yet observant Jews closer to Torah & Mitzvot in a pleasant way."

I have been asked that question from time to time, when someone living in Chutz LaAretz has complained that Torah Tidbits harps on the theme of Aliya much more than it talks about Shabbat and other mitzvot.

In Parshat D'varim, Moshe recounts the story of the Meraglim. He gives more details than the Torah has in Sh'lach and he is talking to the new generation, and warning them - begging them - to be different from their fathers. The men of the previous generation paid a very high price for their negative attitude towards the Land that G-d promised to our ancestors and to us.

Moshe Rabeinu is addressing the generation after the one which turned its back on G-d's plan to bring us into Eretz Yisrael. But Moshe is not just talking to the people who are soon to cross the Jordan River. He is talking - via the Torah - to every single generation since them. Including our own generation today.

He is saying, Don't rebel against G-d. He is saying: See G-d has given you the Land; go and take it and live in it.

Any generation in whose time the Beit HaMikdash is not rebuilt, it is as if it was destroyed in that generation.

If the Mishna tells us the the sin of the spies started the Tish'a b'Av ball rolling, then we have it within our power to stop it and reverse it.

Ten Meraglim said, Nice place to visit but we wouldn't want to live there. Kalev said, Let's go. Who to listen to?