Why We Still Mourn the Destruction of the Temple

If we're not a unified family, we no longer need the house.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

Comments (13)

(12) Tsivya Frieder, July 30, 2020 3:35 PM


If we could get this out to everybody-

(11) John Winlow, July 30, 2020 1:46 PM

Being family ain't always easy!

I agree with what the Rabbi is saying, but I guess the reality is that all families change as they grow up. The values that bound them together loosen as the parents become older and frail. This is also true for my Christian family. We have rows, disagreements we move away from each other, stop speaking.. But the original values -God's values have not changed. The Eternal One remains the same. We just have put aside our pride, our achievements, our opinions and in repentance begin the journey back to Him..

(10) Anonymous, July 29, 2020 7:04 PM


How beautifully conveyed. Short, sweet, insightful. A message that also applies to today's world, for everyone, not just Jews.

(9) Anonymous, July 29, 2020 4:20 AM

Very, very interesting on both subjects!

Thanks for your observations on people's reactions to COVID-10. IMHO, people who refuse to wear masks are selfishly endangering others and possibly burdening their fellow citizens with increased insurance costs or taxation to cover medical expenses of the uninsured. I believe that unmasked people's "freedom" ends at the air others breathe.

Your explanation of observing 9 Av is intriguing. The day is a dilemma for me, because while I believe that the loss of the Temple should be commemorated in some way, I have come to believe the sackcloth-and-ashes approach is outdated, even ungrateful. We payed for haKadosh Burchu to restore us to our land, and we have been restored -- those of us who choose or are able to live there. (I wish I had made aliyah when I was in my late 20s, but I had a career and mother and siblings here in the fleshpots, even the same city.)

I do observe Tesha b'Av in a small way. I once did the full-day fasting and concluded that one Yom Kippur a year was sufficient for me. (I don't expect you to agree.)

And maybe it's just rationalizing my own small observance, but I don't think that in the 21st century we want to return to animal sacrifice. I should think the Holy One might be looking down and saying: I restored them to their land. I led them to a new manner of worship. So why are they still grieving?

I understand the idea that we all stood at Sinai, but I don't agree that we all were present at the loss of the Bet Hamiksdash. Sometimes I'm so brazen as to think that haKadosh Borchu allowed the building of the Dome of the Rock to prevent us from rebuilding the Temple and returning to animal sacrifice.

Madeleine sklar, July 30, 2020 3:26 PM

Animal Sacrifice as a public Spectacle is better

In the times when we sacrificed animals we all saw and participated in the animal's death. We saw the Holiness of its life as in a very real sense human life and the gift of life itself. We could not turn away from the suffering. Now we buy animals in clean neat packages. We can remain unconscious of the animal' suffering, and the suffering of the underpaid and often abused immigrant workers in the factory farms slaughter houses and packagingfactories. All are hidden from our eyes and our consciousness. This, like the death camps in Germany allows us to pretend that we are civilised. Too civilized for animal Sacrifice.. We who choose to eat meat need to know what we are doing. We are choosing. This is a why, aside from the health care reasons, it's important to (if we eat meat) eat only animals where the workers and the animals sacrificed to grace our tables vfc have been treated humanely. My daughter, a violinist, raised a few chickens for eggs. After some time she found she had too many roosters. She and her friend who also had b.v too many, decided they needed to kill them for food. They were up most of the night killing and canning the roosters in the most compassionate Holy way they could. In the morning I asked her(who had never killed anything) how it was. She replied" It was vfc really intense, mom. But I think anyone who eats meat should experience this."

(8) Eileen M Hochstadt, July 28, 2020 5:14 PM

Would like a transcipt

I am the President of The Jewish Community Center of West Pasco and would love to have a transcipt of this piece ?

(7) Happy Monster, July 28, 2020 4:21 PM

Yasher Koach, Rabbi Sytner

Yasher Koach Rabbi Sytner.


(6) MARTIN LEWIN, July 28, 2020 3:53 PM

why rebuild the Bet HaMichdash

Rebuilding the Bet HaMichdash would return Judaism to a religion based upon animal sacrifice.. Isn't Rabbinic Judaism an advance from sacrificial Judaism, one more consistent with BAal Tza'aleh Chaim.

(5) Gwendolyn Austin, July 28, 2020 2:47 PM

Rabbi you are 100% right

Rabbi you are 100% right. We must learn to agree to disagree.

(4) Michael Fenton, July 28, 2020 2:19 PM

Rebuilding the Temple

I once asked a Conservative rabbi after Yom Kippur about the Conservative view about rebuilding the Temple. He said "What would you rather do, go to a community barbque or a 7 hour service?" I know he was joking and hungery but it raises the point that rebuilding the Temple would bring about animal sacrifice long after Judaism abandoned such practice. Why should we long for a return to that clearly vile time?

(3) Lyle Kessler, July 28, 2020 2:15 PM


Dear Rabbi. Much thanks for your inspiring words. Much needed at this time of the Pandemic. I am a playwright and screenwriter whose plays have been done all over the world and many times in Israel. I relate to the story of the one Hasidic son who left the fold but the father left the chair for him. Beautiful.

(2) Larry, July 28, 2020 2:06 PM

If we're not a unified family, we no longer need the house.

If we're not a unified family, we no longer need the house.
Thank you... words that I needed to hear... Larry

(1) Anonymous, July 28, 2020 12:39 AM

Baseless Hatred?

I find it beyond challenging to love anyone who is an observant Jew and refuses to wear a mask. They are not only causing the spread of a most deadly disease, but responsible for spreading antisemitism at a time when it is growing rampantly.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Current Issues Emails

Sign up to our Current Issues Newsletter.

Our privacy policy