This Saturday night, Jews will commence a full day of fasting to mourn the destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.
We will also recall that a string of catastrophes befell our people in other years on this date (learn more).
Legend has it that Napoleon once walked past a synagogue, and heard crying within. He turned to a soldier beside him:
“What are those Jews doing?”
“They are mourning over the destruction of their Temple.”
“When did that happen?”
“About 2,000 years ago.”
“They are still crying after 2,000 years?! A nation that mourns so long will never cease. They will surely return to their land and see the rebuilding of their Temple.”
We have indeed returned to our land, but our Temple has not been rebuilt. Perhaps because we still don’t act as a unified people.
Our Sages taught that the Temple was destroyed because of “baseless hatred” among Jews. (Yoma 9b, B. Talmud)
What is baseless hatred? Any hatred of our brothers and sisters! We need not agree with each other, but we must not hate.
The great Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel said, “If we were destroyed, and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild ourselves, and the world with us, with baseless love.” (Orot HaKodesh vol. III, p. 324)
In this Friday’s Good Shabbos video, I’ll tell you more about the final drama that led to the Temple’s destruction – a drama not of armies or fiery angels, but of baseless and avoidable hatred among ourselves.
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