Connecting to Tisha B'Av

Imagine losing your home...

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Comments (19)

(18) Anonymous, August 5, 2014 3:23 PM

Focus on the why not the what

It's important to focus on the reason why, the jews lost the temple and the shiiquina (sp) glory..1) disobedience 2) idolatry
Yes it's painful that the Romans destroyed it but it was a fulfillment of what the Almighty told Moshe would happen to the children of Israel. However, we ALL know that there is a happy ending in this...but for now, instead of mourning, perhaps we should reflect on 1) our redemption and 2) His mercy

(17) Anonymous, July 31, 2009 12:09 AM

did not like that story at all...i read it when i was a teenager and thought...what horrible thing to do!!!!! kids could be inspired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous, August 9, 2011 3:10 AM

they have to feel despair before u could feel real hope and longing.. or else ur not even upset about it so wt r u longing for anyways

(16) Sarah, July 30, 2009 9:30 PM

What about connecting to hope rather than despair?

You are right that it is difficult to inspire feelings about something so distant from our daily lives. But I believe that while we are making this effort, we do more for ourselves and for our children if the emotion we inspire is hope and longing rather than despair and mourning. Positive emotions inspire us to action while negative ones lead to passivity and hopelessness. The counselors would have done better not to destroy the girls' hard work, but to tell them that the joy and satisfaction they received in building their project was only a fraction of the joy we will all experience when the Bais Hamikdash is rebuilt. May it immediately!

(15) ESTRELLA, July 30, 2009 7:43 PM

I was at the camp

When i started to hear your story i thougth,That was my camp!!, but not really, i went to the camp OR HANER here in USA and they did these activity on 9 Av, ill never forget it!!

(14) Rochel, July 29, 2009 8:59 PM

Great idea

Thank you that camp story was beautiful! I wish they did something like that in all camps-Give everyone a chance to feel T'Bav on their level. May this be our last T'bav so that we have the real Bais Hamikdash next year and don't need the re-enactment!

(13) Wendy, July 29, 2009 1:05 PM

Thank you

Thank you for helping me to understand. It has touched my heart and will stay with me forever now.

(12) Chaya, July 29, 2009 2:17 AM


I had tears in my eyes after your story. Yet I admit the anonymous commentor of july 28 points to an important idea. the spiritual loss is much more devastating. on the other hand, it is too often too hard to imagine a spiritual thing wihtout first going the physical way. if we go from one level to another the effect this understanding might have on us is enorm and very devastating. too hard to imagine. what you said was great, lori, thank you. still: am israel chai.

(11) Keren Hannah, July 29, 2009 12:04 AM

Physical & spiritual intertwined.

HaShem creates and uses the physical to connect with us and to reveal His Presence. That's why the stones of the Kotel are so precious...and HaAretz, the Land itself. They are vessels of His holiness. The Bais HaMikdash was His House - and it was beautiful, according to His design, and we can mourn that it was destroyed - but even more for the Presence of our Av that was withdrawn and needs to be sought for with all our hearts and tears.

(10) Kimberly, July 28, 2009 11:30 PM


Toda! This was very beautiful. Very touching...

(9) Anonymous, July 28, 2009 11:20 PM

I was one of those girls

A different camp, a bit different scenario, but the same message--has stayed with me for over 40 years.

(8) Anonymous, July 28, 2009 9:17 PM

very interesting

Thank you. I opened this with my girls around me, and they get it. I don't know shy, but this year its different then previous years, I cry every time I hear about it. B"H we are closer than ever to rebuilding the 3-d Temple.

(7) Linda Cucher, July 28, 2009 9:12 PM

"Wrong Number?"

Respectfully to "Wrong Number"...It is through the sanctification of the physical that we, who are at such a low spiritual level may however inadequately, relate to the loss of the Temple...the Divine dwelling in our midst. I understand the analogy presented by the author as a hook for a generation who has made the "material" their god, simply cannot fathom the unfathomable and the ultimate effect of Hashem's Holy Presence among us. Not an invaluable tool for me, and not devoid of the deeper Torah transmission: the unspeakable sadness of G-d removing His overt closeness from Jewish people. It is a far deeper loss than we can see or feel in our present spiritual condition. Physical destruction of that which has taken on far too much "religious" significance in this world is palpable and sadly, it speaks to us.

(6) dov, July 28, 2009 8:47 PM

"Anonymous" #1 revisited

Dear Anonymous - your point is a good one, but let's remember this: You agree that Hashem gave us mitzvos that are physical acts, like blowing Shofar, for example? While their physical fulfilment is an absolute necessity, we all believe that Hashem's intent is to pair the physical with understanding and sensitivity to the message of the mitzvah. Yet we all know that the shulchan aruch states that simple intent that I am doing G-d's will by putting the dollar in the hand of the destitute person is enough to fulfil the mitzvah - even w/o specific awareness of what the act means and how we are emulating Hashem by doing it. In other words: This is a religion of meaning and spirituality, but the primary vehicle IS physical acts. The experience of losing one's physical home (G-d forbid!) or "special project" can be a useful symbol to reach the emotional and spiritual message, just as the bulk of our physical mitzvos are. As Rav Noach used to say: We teach our children the ritual of saying "thank-you" and "you are welcome" - but we really want to teach them gratitude. We know it will often be an empty ritual - but we still hang onto it because it may be the only way to eventually reach the goal. I hope what I wrote is not critical of you in any way - it is just that I am pointing out another way to look at it.

(5) Ruth Housman, July 28, 2009 8:17 PM

the "ire" in fire

The visible manifestation of God was the burning bush, as in our Moses story. I think about this constantly when I think about fire, because I do believe there is God in all fires, and yet, the potential of fire, for terrible destruction is immense. There is also in fire so much about the hearth which contains heart, meaning we humans used to gather around that warmth to tell our stories and we need the fire, today, in order to generate the spirit that brings us to delve into conflicting ideas. We say, Where's the fire? Also we have flame, that word, to refer to a beloved one. When the temples burned, were destroyed, I think about profound lessons being learned, about love. I think somehow we all need to experience life's often deep bipolarities, in order to feel, it being the Emotion, the E.. MOTION that carries us forward. The lesson taught to those children was harsh, in that it was love they were expressing and they learned how it is to experience the deep loss of what is beloved. Maybe, it's a lesson that has everything to do with love itself.

(4) Raisy, July 28, 2009 5:46 PM

Thank you #3

I've heard and read that story--about the counselors in camp--before. I agree fully with you. It was a poor chinuch tool. Also, we believe that although the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash was Divine consequence for our behavior, it was also motivated by His love for us--'He poured out His wrath on wood and stone' and spared the Jewish nation. The counselors who destroyed the makeshiift temple in the camp merely appear heartless.

(3) Anonymous, July 28, 2009 3:00 AM

Wrong Number

The counselors taught a very different lesson, one very far from the one we are to use to approach and learn from Tishah b’Av. It is a lesson so wrong that it is the antithesis of Tishah b'Av and therefore a very poor educational tool. The Bais Ha Mikdash was not a physical house. Although the structure could have perhaps been built through human effort, its key component was not and cannot be built through even the most tireless physical efforts. The loss is not that of "all that hard work down the drain.” The "beauty" of the Bais HaMikdash was not its gold, silver or copper. It was not its embroidery or furnishings. It was the fact that through it the connection between the Creator and His world, and specifically His people, became a tangible reality. Loosing that connection is not the loss of any amount of physical or mental exercise simply multiplied many, many times over. The loss is not one of quantity, but one of quality. By focusing on the physicality of the Bais HaMikdash we “miss the boat” completely. The road thus taken does not lead to closeness. Secondly: It was not the act of a heartless group or government that simply chose to destroy the handiwork of its enemy as it was in the camp scene. It was HaShem – our Av/father (in the month of Av) – who was speaking to His people. The lesson of the destroyed and of the destroyer is completely missing from this camp scene.

(2) Anonymous, July 27, 2009 3:28 AM

Thought provoking

What those councelors did in order to get those girls to understand the horrors of losing the temple was very clever. Thank you for sharing this.

(1) Rosen, July 26, 2009 1:09 PM

homes and temples

A home and temple is definitely a sacred, yet vulnerable place. As many may lose their homes to fire, it is almost equally devastating when a home or sacred building is foreclosed, after all that hard work and effort to obtain it has gone out the window...Now, does anyone have images of the first and second temple in Jerusalem, as well as what the third temple will likely be designed? I just wonder what they looked like and what the 3rd temple will likely look like. Also, I wonder if the Temple Mount for the Palestinian-Arabs above the Kotel in Jerusalem is essentially an eyesore and an obstruction from building the 3rd temple in the Holy City.


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