Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av: Greetings

July 15, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Everything is dependent on mazal, even the sefer Torah in the ark”. Certain mitzvoth just luck out, being widely observed across the Jewish world; whereas other, often much more important, mitzvoth are somehow neglected. Just compare the popularity of, say, the recital of kaddish with mayim acharonim, the obligation to wash one’s hands after a meal. The former is a relatively late custom whose...
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Tisha B'Av: Courage of Convictions

July 27, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Do not be afraid of [any] man”. Parshat Devarim, which is always read on the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, begins with Moshe’s exhortations regarding the establishment of a system of justice. Such a system must operate free from outside influences. When fear enters into the deliberations of those who interpret the law, or into other positions of leadership, society is doomed. During the last weeks of his life, Moshe Rabbeinu prepares the people...
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Thoughts on Tisha B'Av: Constructive Hatred

August 09, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One does not have to look very hard to find sources within our tradition that allow, encourage, or even demand that we “hate” others.  While the mitzvah to love our neighbour as ourselves is, according to Rabbi Akiva, the fundamental principle of the Torah, many restrict our neighbour (re'acha) to re'acha b’mitzvot, our neighbour in mitzvoth, excluding those are not observant.The Shulchan Aruch codifies laws regarding...
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Tisha B'Av: Evading Responsibility

July 24, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“But the Second Temple, that they were involved in Torah and Mitzvoth and Gemilot Chasadim (loving kindness), why was it destroyed? Because it contained sinnat chinam" (Yoma 9b). While the cause of the loss of the Temple is quite clearly identified here, its definition is not. Had our Sages said the Temple was destroyed because of sinnah (hatred) amongst Jews, we would have understood. A society full of hatred cannot endure—internal strife is...
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