Sign up to TorahFax


Tuesday, Menachem Av 9, 5777 / August 1, 2017


Today is the fast day of Tisha B’Av, the 9th of Av – the day in which the two holy Temples were destroyed through fire.  Our sages say, “The Temples were destroyed through fire and they will again be rebuilt through fire.”


Emotions are compared to fire, as they are heated and passionate. They are expressed with enthusiasm and fervor.  


Our sages tell us that the Second Temple was destroyed because of “Sinat Chinam” – unjust hate amongst Jews. Instead of performing the mitzvah of “Love your fellow as yourself,” with passion, they used that fervor and passion for strife and hatred.


To rectify the cause of the destruction of the Holy Temple and thus bring about the re-building of the Temple, it is also through fire - passion and love for each other. It should also be done with enthusiasm. Thus, just as the Temple was destroyed through fire, it will be rebuilt through fire – through the fire of love, caring and feeling for each other.


The Talmud relates the following episode: When the Temple was destroyed many Jews decided to refrain from eating meat and drinking wine as a sign of mourning for the destruction of the Temple.  The Talmudic sage, Rabbi Yehoshua asked them, “Why are you not eating meat nor drinking wine?”


They replied, “How can we eat meat which was once sacrificed on the Temple Altar? How can we drink wine which was once poured on the Holy Altar?”


Rabbi Yehoshua said to them, “In that case you should not eat grapes or figs, for they too were brought to the Temple as First Fruits? Do not eat bread, as bread was used in the Temple service.” 


Rabbi Yehoshua explained to them that although one must grieve for the destruction of the Temple, one must not do so over excessively. For we firmly believe that the day will soon come, when the Beth Hamikdash (Holy Temple) will again be rebuilt.  But this time it will last forever, never to be destroyed again, with the coming of Moshiach.  Amen.


The Book of Lamentations, which is read on Tisha B'Av, describing the destruction of the Holy Temple is not requiredto be written on parchment like the Megilat Esther, which recalls the miracle of Purim.


Reason: Purim is an everlasting holiday. The story of Purim is recorded on parchment, for it is permanent, just as the rest of the Torah. But the story of Tisha B'Av is only temporary.When Moshiach will come, we will again have the Holy Temple and the day of Tisha B'Av will be transformed into a holiday of rejoicing.



Montrealtime: Fast ends: Tuesday night: 9:00