Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Reformation of Tisha B'Av

I'm gasping at the realization that Tisha B'Av, like so many other things in Torah-True Judaism, is being completely perverted from its traditional significance.

In the previous post, I criticized a commentator who announced that "Yiddishkeit" declares that Tisha B'Av is all about the loss of our connection with the Creator. But it's not just some random commentator on this blog. The title of a Tisha B'Av video by a very popular Torah lecturer is "A Day Of Yearning, Not Sadness," with the subtitle explaining that "the point of Tisha B'Av is to focus on what life would be like with the presence of God in it."

No, no, no! 

The point of Tisha B'Av is to be sad. Sad for the destruction of Jerusalem - the city (of which the Beis Hamikdash was the most significant part) and the people. Sad for the loss of sovereignty, the loss of national pride, the persecution and suffering and exile and death. That's what Eicha speaks about. And likewise to be sad about the suffering, exile and death of countless Jews over history.

Simultaneously (as sharply expressed at the end of Kinnah 17, Im tochalna). we are supposed to contemplate the cause of all this suffering. Which, according to the prophets regarding the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash, included such sins as idolatry, oppression of the unfortunate, and resenting rebuke. And in the case of the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash and the fall of Jerusalem, it was sinat chinam - not some vague mussar idea, but sectarianism, the sort of tribalism that was actually promoted as official policy by many people in Israel over the past year.

I'm coming across endless examples of people getting Tisha B'Av wrong. The Stone Chumash, in its commentary to the Haftora that we read before Tisha B'Av, describes it as teaching about how we must lament the underlying causes of the destruction. Okay, fine. But it proceeds to speak about how we must enhance our Divine Service and knowledge of Torah. Yet if you look at what Yeshayah actually says, he talks about Hashem hating the divine service because the people were thinking that it was sufficient to be doing that, while they were simultaneously corrupted by bribery and not fighting on behalf of the oppressed. (Which is all too relevant today - but where are the mass video screenings on that topic?!)

There's a much larger theme to discuss here, about the reformation from a religion centered on important national and societal issues to one centered on personal spiritual growth, but we'll leave that for another time.

75 comments:

  1. People don't like sadness. Especially nowadays with all the distractions that bombard us constantly, sorrow is too uncomfortable to be something we can deal with. Sadness and grief are things we can't or just don't like to relate to. They are also very basic emotions, which, particularly for those who a consider themselves complex, are quite discomfiting and somewhat banal. This is why "have an easy fast" morphed into an "easy *and meaningful* fast." There is little meaning in sadness, it's just pure emotion. So, yes, for those who are used to more and are uncomfortable with sadness per se, comes greater meaning, whether that's through long shiurim about the kinos, the perplexing phenomenon of the kumzits, or yes, mussar about how we can be better. All to avoid or relieve the intrinsic physical, emotional and psychological discomfort halacha demands of this day.

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    1. I think you're mostly right, but I also think it's kind of obvious that "easy" became "easy and meaningful" because people had the perfectly logical idea that a fast is not *supposed* to be easy and felt uncomfortable wishing it.

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    2. As the Mussarists and the chassidishe Rebbe who had the shtiebl on the corner when I was a kid (R Shaul Margoois zt"l) would say:
      My concerns should extend as far as my neshamah and your stomach.

      "Have an easy fast" sounds nice, but to some extent it relates to the problem the post points out. Shouldn't we just want our friends to feel okay?

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  2. I wouldn’t call it a complete perversion. Our ultimate goal is a tight connection with our creator. The challenge could be that people don’t realize that one can’t leapfrog there without dealing with the shortcomings you listed.
    She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu (may we see the consolation of Jerusalem and its rebuilding speedily in our days )

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    1. Our ultimate goal is to partner with and emulate G-d to bring His Good to others.

      You must know Hillel's answer to the conversion candidate, Rabbi Aqiva's "great principle" and maybe Ben Azzai's greater one.

      There is also the Gra (Even Sheilemah), R Chaim.Vlozhiner (see his son's and redacyot's intro to Nefesh haChaim), the introduction to Shaarei Yosher, the Qunterus haChessed in Michtav meiEliyahu. This was what the real, pre-war "Litvish" was really about.

      Numerous more sources at
      https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/142643

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  3. No different than rabbis who say that when bad things happen to the whole we must look inward, to repent individually. Its as though they prefer sectarianism because its easier to rebuke individials in your sphere of influence than try to tebuild unity and tolerance between Jewish communities.
    Exactly what we lost with the Temples and sovereignty.

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  4. In your list of things to be sad about on Tisha B'Av you forgot to mention being sad over the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash.

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    1. Yes, because Eicha barely mentions it. But I updated the post to include it.

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    2. Eicha doesn't mention Tisha B'Av and presumably was written before Tisha B'Av was established. The Mishna and Gemara in Taanis, which are the halachic sources for Tisha B'Av, mention the Destruction of the Beis hamikdash as almost the exclusive theme of Tisha B'Av.

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  5. Sovereignty and national pride are secular terms. Jewish nationalism is not French/British/Scottish/Turkish. Our nation is a nation that serves Hashem. We are descended from Avraham who made a bond with Hashem to serve Him, and that is how we are a nation. Gerim can join this bond, they too can accept on themselves to serve Hashem.
    But the loss of our nationalism is, by its definition, a loss of our bond with Hashem. We are not a nation by virtue of anything else.

    The sadness of the day is about that loss, and that is what we reflect on.

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    1. "Sovereignty and national pride are secular terms." Yes, I was also taught that in yeshiva. Then I learned Eicha (and the Kinnos) and saw those topics discussed extensively.

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    2. "What are we mourning for here? What are we emphasizing here? Not physical destruction but hillul kevod Yisrael, desecration of the honor of Yisrael. And, of course, hillul kevod Yisrael goes hand in hand with hillul kevod Shamayim, desecration of the honor of God... The hillul Shem Yisrael in the world is like hillul shem hagadol shel Ha-Kadosh Barukh Hu." (The Lord is Righteuous in All His Ways, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, pg. 154).

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    3. RDNS - What is your response to this?

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    4. Of course you read Eicha differently, because you used a different lens.
      Kinnos does not mention sovereignty, and Eicha hardly does. They mention pain, they mention the divorce between Hashem and his people, they mention the humiliation in front of other nations. But not national pride and not sovereignty.

      And the idea that you were 'taught' differently in Yeshiva is laughable, when by your own admission you did not understand the Yiddish being spoken.

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    5. Shai, Yechezkel is clear that chillul of Yisrael, and thus of Hashem, comes *from* the state of exile.

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    6. Anonymous, the pain and humiliation are a result of the exile. Had there been no exile, there would have been, off the top of my head, no Crusades, no Inquisition, no Chelminitzki, no Holocaust.

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    7. Read the full sentence - Nachum.
      I wrote that Eicha and Kinos are full of the pain and humiliation, not the loss of sovereignty, not the lack of national pride.

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    8. Yes, Nachum, of course, exile is the problem. But not because we are nationalists, in the sense that, say, the French or English or Germans are. It is the Chillul Hashem - and the fact that He has distanced us - that ultimately concerns us.

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  6. Attacking the videos is a cheap shot. The videos are geared to the lowest common denominator, and they are mostly the butt of jokes. People go, from boredom and FOMO. But they are not serious reflections of what people think Kinnos are all about.

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  7. "The hurban Beit ha-Mikdash made Jews feel distant from HaKadosh Barukh Hu, and the Kinot express a deep desire of Benei Yisroel to bridge the distance and feel close to Him." (The Lord is Righteuous in All His Ways, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, pg. 107).

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    1. K'darko, but with all due respect, he's not the be-all and end-all.

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    2. Nachum, are you aware of anyone on Rav Soloveitchik's level of learning - or even in his league - who disagrees? (I may be mistaken, but I think he also learned Eichah at some point.)
      Do you truly think Rav Soloveitchik "got Tisha B'av wrong"? And if so, based on what - your own deep study Eichah and Kinnos, or R. Slifkin's say so, due to his recent discovery of Eichah?

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  8. I think people often forget or possibly commingle the reasons for the two temples being destroyed. The first temple was, in fact, about connection to spirituality. After all, the Temple is said to have had the divine presence of the Shechina and the three cardinal sins primarily, though not exclusively, we’re identified as the cause of its destruction and the subsequent loss of the divine presence. The mourning one would have for the first Temple would then, indeed, be about lost spiritual connections. The second temple, on the other hand, had no such discernible Shechina and therefore, its destruction and subsequent mourning are less focused on “spirituality” and more about the root cause of what went wrong the second time around. Here, the Rabbis point to social and communal breakdown in the form of sinat chinam, baseless hatred. Though, the hatred was not technically baseless - it was founded on the inability to find acceptance of one another, despite differences. Incidentally, this is wholly contrasted by say the notion that the students of Hillel and Shammai did not refrain from cordial and proper social interaction despite clear differences in interpretation of Jewish law. As such, the focus of mourning the second Temple should be on what is the matter with us as individuals that we can’t enable a proper social dynamic among Jews, much along the lines that Rabbi Slifkin mentions. Of course, solving this could lead to a temple, which could in turn lead to renewed spirituality, but until we solve the problem of what’s rotten in our own personal Denmark, so to speak, we’re no where closer to achieving the dream of restoration. Alas.

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    1. Eicha was written in reference to the first destruction. And it's not about lost spiritual connections.

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    2. The Yerushalmi straight up says that the students of Hillel and Shamai actually murdered each other in great numbers. A generation or two later, it was Shamai's students who led the revolt and Hillel's that were trying to accommodate to Rome.

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    3. That may be the case, but you are opting to view Eicha, and therefore Tisha BAv, from a straight-forward lens rather than the lens of rabbinic literature. If the approach you’d like to take on Tisha BAv is based on Eicha alone, then yes, there is what to be said about no overt comment on loss of divine presence. (Though, there are phrases like Hashiveinu Hashem Eleicha which are open to interpretation). However, in these posts, it seems that you are commenting on how people approach Tisha BAv generally, and through the lens of Rabbinic literature there is what to be said about the loss of the divine presence - at least the first time around. This often is associated by people as matters of “spirituality”, though not in the convoluted sense as you described in your prior post.

      There is an alternate read as well based on Rambam. Many of his foundational comments on free choice are included in Hilchot Teshuvah. There, in the fifth chapter, he points to sections from Ani haGever to establish his idea of personal accountability. His read of that section of Eicha is neither communal nor spiritual but an indictment on the people themselves for failing to act in accordance with the amazing potential of free choice. In which case, one could argue Eicha and Tisha BAv simply lament the failure of humans to do the right thing when it matters most.

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  9. Hmm, this is your third post about the purpose of Tisha B’Av, yet I still find your position vague.

    “The point of Tisha B'Av is to be sad.”
    But why? What is accomplished by being sad?

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    1. 1. Primarily, it's about identifying with our history. Here's what someone wrote to me:
      "Imagine you are visiting a disaster area. An earthquake. In front of you is sitting a crying woman. Her husband has just died. Her thirsty children pulling at her skirt. She has no shelter.
      And you stand there, and do חשבון נפש. You wonder how this experience will improve you.
      The woman looks up at you, and says: "This is not about you! Can't you just cry with me?"
      On 9 AV, maybe we should think less about ourselves, and should cry with 2000 years worth of people suffering.

      2. It's also important to think about what caused it, and rectified it.

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    2. I find your 2 reasons somewhat conflicting.
      1. This is not about “you”, stop being selfish and identify with history
      2. It is important to rectify. How does one “rectify”? I have never been successful in fixing anyone but myself, I would interpret that as changing oneself. But according to 1 that is selfish behavior…?

      I do relate to the anecdote - there are definitely people who are selfish, and use this kind of situation as an excuse to seem holy. But I think it’s dangerous to say that any self-change is selfish. The man who makes the widow feel better by empathizing is asking himself- “How can I make her feel better?” and stretching himself to feel her pain.

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  10. I'm gasping at the realization that Tisha B'Av, like so many other things in Torah-True Judaism™, is being completely perverted from its traditional significance.

    So your problem is that traditionally Tishah Be'av had a different significance. Presumably you mean some kind of tradition of father to son, generation to generation. Can you show us ONE generation in which 'nationalism' was the issue? Can you prove this tradition in the slightest?

    If you gasped less and actually proved your points, your oxygen intake wouldn't suffer that much.

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    1. The word "nationalism" was invented relatively recently, but of *course* Jews dreamed of going back to Israel and having their own country. Just look at the Rambam, for example.

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    2. Of course we want to return to our country, but not because we want our own place to live, and to make our own rules.

      Our own country is where we keep Mitzvos, our own rules means that the Torah is our way of life and the only logic behind our rules.

      Nationalism is the wrong word for our desperate wish to return to our land.

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    3. Nachum, why the Rambam? Anyone who says Shemoneh Esrei or Bentchen should have noticed!

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  11. In general, one sees a big difference between the mussar of the neviim and of the Rishonim and later. Neviim are about Avoda Zara, corruption (there seems to be a connection between these two), and gilui arayos. Yes, occasionally other things come up, but they are definitely not the focus. Yet Rishonim discuss improvement on details of mitzvos eg Rabbenu Yonah.
    I think this is a result of galus. To Rabbbenu Yona, corruption. Is not the main issue of his time. Some local fuedal lord is the corrupt guy. Not the local Jewish judge. AZ is not being massively worshipped, the meshumad of his time was either the town drunk or someone under huge pressure. It's not a community wide problem. And neither is gilui arayos. So R Yonah focused on details of mitzva by mitzva.
    The same continued for the next generations, whether under the ottomans, or in Europe. The main themes of Navi were less relevant.
    Yet now that God has given us the opportunity to control our destiny. It's time to look to the Neviim. This is definitely true in EY and it is also true in chutz laaretz. We have the opportunities to run our lives and our societies with minimal interruption from others. Do we allow corruption? Do we allow gilui arayos (ahem walder, leifer vechu), and do we deify the wrong things and run some sort of paganism?

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    1. Koillel nick, you must be reading a different Rabbeinu Yonah than me.

      There is plenty of material in Shaarei Teshuva that contradicts your assertion.

      Shaarei Teshuva, Gate 3:160 (translation by Feldheim): The aspect of "haters of Hashem" can also be found at times among those who perform mitzvos and are scrupulous in avoiding sin, both in deed and in speech -- if they are pained and inwardly troubled when their friends engage in Torah study, and it bothers them when others serve Hashem and fear Him.

      This is an apt description of the kind of people Slifkin and his ilk actually are, rather than how they see themselves. Haters of Hashem, literally pained by the Charedi hashkafa. Did you even read the same sefer as me? I've even used the same lashon to describe what I see here. Meticulously observant and knowledgeable, but soulless.

      Just as there was the Judenrat in the Holocaust, the same type of leadership has existed throughout our exile, and there was plenty of corruption within our own ranks the entire time.

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  12. "the point of Tisha B'Av is to focus on what life would be like with the presence of God in it." Something NEW AGE JUDAISM, or something a Christian may say. Theologians have to make a living and garner supporters and will come up with nice sounding (but really meaningless) soap. They will mine, tinker, invent to maintain membership. I see right thru their tactics and it makes my stomach churn, but many people have a spiritual yearning and need hope for which Theologians are only too happy to supply. ACJA

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  13. I would say that even within Tanach and coming down through the ages there are two strands (sometimes competing and disagreeing) the Cohanim that emphasised the avodat Hashem aspects of Judaism and the Neviim who spoke more about societal, moral and national issues. I think they're both legitimate concerns which sometimes mutually exclude one another but often are two aspects of the same thing. The destruction of Jerusalem obviously has both tied up together.
    You're right, I wish more people would speak up about the societal, moral and national aspect.

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    1. The Haftarah of Shabbat Hazon portrays the Avodat Hashem aspects as continuing as usual, but being rejected by HKB"H due to profound societal / moral failings in the community.

      One has to think that the Rabbis chose that reading, and its timing, for a reason.

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  14. I agree with the anonymous post above, "The challenge could be that people don’t realize that one can’t leapfrog there without dealing with the shortcomings you listed." The spiritual connection cannot rightly exist without derech eretz. Can one claim to serve Hashem and at the same time insult him by abusing or neglecting His creatures?

    It's lately occurred to me that the mitzvot bein Adam lechavero aren't in the Torah because if they weren't we would have license to flout them; any society knows to treat each other properly. It's to make clear that they are no less part of the Torah way of life than kashrut or Shabbat.

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  15. People find it hard to relate to to Tish B'Av and therefore adapt it to fit in with whatever they can relate to. See http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2013/07/relating-to-tishah-bav.html where RDNS shifts the focus to the Holocaust simply because "It's difficult to mourn the Destruction of the Temple, since most of us don't have any particular desire to engage in Temple service". (The problem with that attitude is that this is not a one time in the year problem; one can't live a Jewish life without confronting the Temple Service daily, every time we daven and every time we bentch. We simply have to have some way of relating to it.)

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  16. Shimshon, I am schocked by your insults of RNS! Watch your tongue! You continually insult people you don't agree with? Methinks thou protestith too much!

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    1. Yaacub, I have no idea what you are talking about. If you think I am comparing Slifkin to the Judenrat or something like that, you are too short for this ride. I was responding to a comment that had multiple parts, not making a comparison. If I want to make the comparison, I make it. I don't do passive aggressive, unlike the gammas infesting this hive.

      As far as the first part of my comment, the amount of vitriol directed at the Charedim by the blog proprietor as well as many of the commenters (is this respectful enough to refrain from the typical harsher terms I use?) is well-known and readily apparent to all. What particularly disturbs these people is the Charedim's priority for learning Torah above nearly all else. All the actual criticism, no matter how justified in their eyes and rationales, is color for that animosity. That is literally what Rabbeinu Yonah defines as a "hater of Hashem" not me. I'm not the one who claimed he says things and emphasizes things he plainly doesn't. And I'm not the one you should by shocked at.

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    2. Spare me the faux outrage. You have no idea what I said or what I responded to.

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  17. Shimshon,
    There's a saying,"Af der ganov brent dus hittel". On the thief the hat burns. You are obviously too enraged to be able to debate with arguments.!










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    1. Ah I meant to comment here. Who is enraged? Not me, oh projector and radiator of that emotion. What did I say that so bothered you that you have to white knight for a man perfectly capable of defending himself? My guess is he doesn't, because he knows (1) I am not comparing him to the Judenrat or accusing him of corruption and (2) my quote from Rabbeinu Yonah is apt. To deny the the aptness of it would be to recant something like 90% or more of his criticism of Charedim.

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  18. Shimshon, you're exposing your flaws! Reread מסילת ישרים.

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    1. I plan to, along with Shaarei Teshuva and many other seforim I have read already.

      Please, Yaacub, since you are the one who claims I expose myself, enumerate them.

      I didn't keep that page bookmarked for this moment. Slifkin claims to believe in siyata d'shmaya. So I have learned recently from others who have been at this far longer than I, to my surprise. I say it was that that caused the book to open to the page it did to rebut Koillel nick's inane and patently untrue claims about Rabbeinu Yonah. And make a very pointed observation about what passes here for rational thought.

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    2. Yaacub - you are a coward, plain and simple. You attacked Shimshon, he answered you, and your answer is 'reread מסילת ישרים'.
      Which page in מסילת ישרים? How are those who don't like the increase in לומדי תורה not included in Rabbenu Yona's category of משנאי ה'? Do you have a coherent answer? Or are you merely interested in gauging other people's motivations?

      Rabbenu Yoah speaks for himself. A person can ignore his words, at his own peril.

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  19. I will start by saying that since RNS's viewpoints are generally very far from Judaism, it is hard for me to admit when I sometimes agree with him. However, here, there is one small point that I do agree on.

    The tragedy of the Churban and Tisha bAv is a communal one, not a personal one. It is not about our personal connection with Hashem, but our communal one. This is indeed clear from the language of Neviim and Chazal. In fact, in general, all of our hopes and dreams, all of our tefillos, are communal, the hopes and the dreams of the Nation of Israel. This too is the language of the Torah and the Neviim. It is also the language of Shemone Esrei. Selichos. The Avodah of Yom Kippur. Hoshanos. It is also the concept of Olam Haba. Olam Haba as described in the Neviim and Chazal is for the Nation of Israel, communally. (But it will be for the ones who follow the Torah. The secularists will not be part of Olam Haba, only in the sense of אשם לא תכבה והיו לדראון עולם. Of course, הכל לפי מדרגתם.)

    Now, for what he gets wrong. His big mistake is that since the Neviim emphasize the physical destruction of the Jewish nation, that is the main thing we should care about. In other words, our main concern is גשמיות, not רוחניות. It is עולם הזה, not עולם הבא. God forbid. This is a good example of what I mean when I say he is very far from Judaism. The same "argument" can be made for the Chumash, which seems to promise only physical blessings and destruction. However, we have a Torah shebaal Peh. ברוך הבוחר בהם ובמשנתם. And it is very clear from the Torah shebaal Peh that our primary concern is Olam Haba, not Olam Hazeh. The main blessing is in Olam Haba, the place where we are נהנה מזיו השכינה. The place of תחית המתים. The place of למען יאריכון ימיך, לעולם שכולו ארוך. And the main destruction of the wicked is in Olam Haba, on the Awesome Day of Judgement. 

    The reason why the Tanach speaks in the language of physical blessings and destruction is dealt with by many Rishonim, and there are many answers. None of them are that actually, the main blessing is in עולם הזה. Of course, there are still physical blessings when we do the 'רצון ה, and physical destruction, c"v, when we do not. But a Torah Jew understands his priorities, the main purpose of our existence, our hopes and dreams, are not physical, but spiritual. And so, when a Torah Jew mourns the physical destruction of the Jewish people, he understands that the main point is the spiritual destruction, the distancing from Hashem.

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    1. I pretty sure having to eat your children is bad, and is worth lamenting. Saying to ignore that, and focus on the spiritual is morally repugmant.

      But I think we're getting caught up in semantics here to some extent:

      The Temples were destroyed because of many sins, mostly bein adam lechaveiro. This resulted in (a) immense bloodshed and suffering and (b) a diminished connection between us and Hashem, both effects of which are felt to this day. For this we lament.

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    2. Who said to ignore that? But ignoring the הסתר פנים from Hashem, the loss of the שכינה, is likewise morally repugnant for a believing Jew.

      The (first) Temple was destroyed for many sins, both bein adam lechaveiro and bein adam l'Makom. Nowhere in Tanach does it say mostly one or the other. מלכים emphasizes the וילכו אחרי אלהים אחרים more than the bloodshed. Today's atheists are certainly no better than them. I agree with your last two sentences. But a Torah Yid must understand priorities.

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  20. Two points: First, this discussion is very interesting. I'm not sure why spiritual connection has been translated to personal, singular, selfish connection. Even the term personal connection doesn't mean individual connection. The point here is that it is about connection with הקב"ה, sure the communal connection, but the point is that it is NOT about just being sad that we are missing national pride or something stupid like that חלילה. Devoid of that being because of כלל ישראל's connection with השם is meaningless in our Jewish narrative. The reform talks like that, not us. (The term personal is important because it is a connection in the same way we connect personally with our friends and family. In that way we are supposed to connect with השם, and that it is what is missing without the בית המקדש, that our connection is lost.)
    My second point is I'm not sure why feeling sad for another human being is the epitome of selflessness. I think we say in Judaism that feeling sad for הקב"ה Himself is the epitome of selflessness. We are so into ourselves that we don't take הקב"ה's feelings into account. Of course, I mean this כביכול, but He did set up the word with a place where He is missing, and His desire is that we fill this void. If we do it because He wants it, and we want what He wants, that is just about as altruistic as we can get.

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  21. With the rebirth of Medinat Yisrael and its many achievements, I find it difficult to be sad during Tisha beAv. I'm actually angry at our inability to rebuild the Temple (Har HaBait beyadenou etc...).

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    1. Let us see what we lost with the Churban (starting from the beginning, the split between the Shevatim) and it is quite easy to be sad.
      With a Beis Hamikdash we had השראת השכינה, we had a Kohen Gadol who could ask question from the אורים ותומים and receive direct answers from Hashem. Halachic questions could be decided, for the entire Klal Yisroel, from the לשכת הגזית. Klal Yisroel were sovereign, the only morals, rules and ideals that they needed to follow were their own, based on Torah (I am not saying that they always did so, and their abandoning Torah ideals indeed led to the churban). Klal Yisroel could keep so many Mitzvos that we do not follow nowadays, like Korbanos, Shemita D'oraysa, Yovel, Avadim, Ger Toshav and more and more. Now we cannot do so - דרכי ציון אבלות מבלי באי מועד ring a bell? Democracy brings us lowlives, power hungry TV personalities and murderers as political leaders, with a monarchy of Moshiach, that will all be over.
      How many more reasons do we need to need Moshiach?

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  22. NO! The Torah is for this world! Reward and punishment is for Hashem to do where and when He determines it. Your attitude is
    Christian! We sanctify Hashem by living a religious life in this world!










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    1. Are you arguing with me? I don't see where I disagreed. Indeed, reward and punishment is for Hashem to do where and when He determines it. And when we mourn His punishment, the biggest punishment is the הסתר פנים, the distancing from Hashem. Indeed, we sanctify Hashem by living a religious life in this world. The point is that our main yearning is for spirituality, which we can attain only partially in this world (even when the Bais Hamikdash existed, although we could attain a lot more through it), but what the Next World is all about. Judaism 101. וְתֶחֱזֶינָה עֵינֵינוּ בְּשׁוּבְךָ לְצִיּוֹן בְּרַחֲמִים. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן. What exactly does this have to do with Christianity? If they share this concept, great. At least they kept one good thing from us.

      Parenthetically, it's amazing how "rationalists" will look down on anything Christians might share with us, but have no problem taking their entire worldview from complete atheists.

      Delete
    2. I guess if you say so, it must be true.
      Of course, the Rishonim beg to differ. And the Gemaros seem to do so also. They all make the case that reward in the afterlife is more important, explaining why the pessukim don't mention it. יפה שעה אחת של קורת רוח בעולם הבא יותר מכל תענוגי עולם הזה
      עולם הזה דומה לפרוזדור לפני הטרקלין
      and more.

      Delete
  23. Shimshon, your problem is that you think that only the Chareidim
    are devoted toTorah. That only they have the right emphasis and religious balance for a religious life a la yeshiva brainwash.
    I believe that RNS has put forth
    an
    impressive authoratative religious approach to living
    a religious life.









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    Replies
    1. Perfect example!
      No answer to his points, no substance, just an attack on something that Shimshon never said.
      Talk about being brainwashed....................

      Delete
    2. Yaacub, I never said any such thing. That is 100% pure projection on your part. Slifkin himself criticizes what he believes is over-emphasis on Torah study above many things he holds virtuous. He literally said his museum provides more benefit to the world than Jews learning Torah. It has nothing to do with balance at all, retard. It's about hashkafa. That kind of attitude drips with open hatred of Hashem, according to Rabbeinu Yonah's definition of the term. There is no need to have such an attitude, as it won't change anything. Yet there it is, doubled down, and doubled down again, over and over.

      How's your Shalom Bayis? How is Slifkin's for that matter, if the approach he puts forth to living is so authoritative in your eyes?

      Delete
  24. Happy... You will never understand and know anything about the Next World. All we know is that in the Next World there is reward and punishment.
    The rest are just words which mean nothing to us. The purpose of Torah has to do with this
    world. Our priority is this world not the Next World.Observe
    the Torah and make the world and yourself a better place.
    That's it and don't
    concern yourself with the Next World.






















    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yaacub, when the Mesilas Yesharim wrote :
      החיבור הזה לא חברתיו ללמד לבני האדם את אשר לא ידעו, אלא להזכירם את הידוע להם כבר ומפורסם אצלם פירסום גדול. כי לא תמצא ברוב דברי, אלא דברים שרוב בני האדם יודעים אותם ולא מסתפקים בהם כלל.
      I don't think he had in mind people like yourself and Rabbi Slifkin! That was something he couldn't imagine!!! 😂😂😂. Also why do you have a huge white space after every post? Something wrong with your phone?

      Delete
    2. Most of what we read in the white space makes more sense than that which has some black smearings.

      Delete
  25. Shimshon clearly states that the Chareidi priority is learning Torah
    and RNS and his ilk are haters of Torah as per Rabbenu Yonah.
    Just read further up at Shimshon.

    ReplyDelete
  26. In Christianity especially Catholicism the most important thing is to be "saved" by believing in "that man" and thereby going to heaven. We Jews believe in keeping the Torah. We know nothing about "spirituality"
    except as it i volves





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't particularly care about other religions.
      In Torah, a person does Mitzvos and receives reward for them in the next world. That is a basic belief of ours. Whatever other religions believe or don't believe. שלא עשני גוי - the Goy does not get to define me.

      Delete
    2. 'We know nothing about "spirituality"'. At least you got one thing right. Secularists know nothing about spirituality because they know nothing about the Torah. A very large percentage of them are atheists. The vast majority of them are mechallel Shabbos, and even the ones who are not cover for the ones that are. A vast majority of them celebrate homosexuality. Of course you guys know nothing about spirituality.

      Delete
    3. Why are you such an unpleasant person? Is this what you think orthodoxy is and what God wants? It’s people like you who make others distant from HaShem….

      Delete
    4. You come to this website to greedily drink up sweeping slander and demonization of large segments of the Jewish people (the ones that actually keep the Torah), and you have the nerve to whine about how unpleasant it is when they fight back? Go cry me a river.

      Delete
    5. Yaacub, are you the same Yaacub who repeatedly says to think away from Olam Haba and instead focus on Olam Hazeh? And are you the same Yaacub who advocated reading מסילת ישרים?

      You've apparently forgotten the beginning of the first chapter in מסילת ישרים, corroborated extensively in the author's Machshava Sfarim, that the whole purpose of this world is to earn pleasure for the next world, and that the foundation of piety and the root of perfect service is for a man to clarify and come to realize as truth what is his obligation in his world and to what he needs to direct his gaze and his aspiration in all that he toils all the days of his life, that being solely to delight in G-d and to derive pleasure in the radiance of the Shechina , for this is the true delight and the greatest pleasure that can possibly exist, and the place of this pleasure is, in truth, in Olam Haba, which was created expressly for this purpose, and the path to arrive at Olam Haba is this world ....

      ?

      Delete
    6. @Anon 8:23, those who aren't blunt keep people distant from Hashem by virtue of allowing them to remain comfortable with their actions, some of which are an abomination to Him.

      Delete
  27. I really don't understand either side here. I assume you both understand and accept that Torah has many layers of meaning. So why would you think there is a single meaning to Tisha B'Av? Of course the Neviim speak of the lack of justice. Indeed, Zecharia, asked about fasting, points out that what God wants is "Tzedek U'Mishpat." But the Torah also speaks of Hester Panim. This is entirely a false dichotomy.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Mike S. you are correct. But the idea that the secularists, most of whom don't follow the Torah at all, know something about Tzedek U'Mishpat, is laughable on its face. The society in the times of Yeshaya had laws, courts, judges, police, and yet what does he say about them? הוֹי הַחֹקְקִים חִקְקֵי אָוֶן וּמְכַתְּבִים עָמָל כִּתֵּבוּ. Their very laws that they made and followed were corrupt. And furthermore, these were not spiritual people who followed the Torah in other respects. They were people who worshipped idols on every mountain and under every olive tree. One cannot have Tzedek U'Mishpat without following the Torah. See Shabbos 56b

    א"ר יונתן כל האומר יאשיהו חטא אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ויעש הישר בעיני ה' וילך בכל דרך דוד אביו אלא מה אני מקיים וכמוהו לא היה לפניו מלך אשר שב וגו' שכל דיין שדן מבן שמנה עד שמנה עשרה החזירן
    רש"י: עד בן י"ח. שמצא חלקיה את הספר ועיין ודקדק בתורה ובדיניה בכתב ובעל פה והבין שמא טעה בדינא:

    ReplyDelete
  29. Has anyone asked what was the reason that the attempt to build the Third Temple during Julian's reign failed? Was there Sinatra chinnam in that era as well? Some other national sin?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sar Shalom August 9,22 at 11:59 " Was there Sinatra chinnam...". Yes ,they wanted to "... to do it ..." their way!

    ReplyDelete

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