We are nearing our ‘National Day of Mourning’ – Tisha B’Av (which literally means the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av). It is considered the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, a day in which we typically fast for the duration of the day. Although tradition dictates that the day is commemorated in memory of the destruction of both of our temples, we also remember the beginning of the crusades in 1096 as well as Henrich Himmler’s decision to move ahead with the final solution in 1941. Both events ultimately resulted in widespread murder and near-total obliteration of our people and fell on Tisha B’Av.
From a young age, we are taught that the destruction of the Second Temple caused acts of baseless hatred between the Jewish people, and this longstanding lesson could not be any more relevant today, than it was 2000 years ago. Although millennia removed from these ancient tragedies, it is clear, now more than ever, that there is a dire need, both locally and globally, for Jewish unity to uphold its core values. We must refrain from finding reasons to complain and speak badly about one another, and instead, love and judge each other less.
In unequivocal and unambiguous terms, Tisha B’Av reminds us that no matter our background, profession, or belief system for which we subscribe, we must remember what happens to one Jew on one side of the world affects the Jew living next door to you. Why? Because we are one people of one faith and one people with one fate. If we internalise this message today, we are ensured of a better and brighter tomorrow.
Wishing you all an easy fast.