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What Are We Sad About?
The focus might not be what you assume
It might be a day of mourning for you, but it isn’t for me. Nothing scandalous there - I’m in California and Tisha B’Av hasn’t started yet. But here’s something to think about during Tisha B’Av. Consider what are the subjects of each sentence in Eicha, Kinnos and Nachem - what exactly the author is being sad about. I came up with a list of seven possibilities (and let me know if I’ve missed anything):
The destruction of the Beis HaMikdash
The spiritual loss of a connection with Hashem
The destruction of the city of Jerusalem
The loss of national pride
The deaths among our people
The suffering inflicted upon the survivors
The moral corruption of our people
Of course, we are sad about all of the above. But my challenge is regarding the relative stress upon each one. In fact, if someone can volunteer to do an actual count, that would be very helpful. But even without a formal count, it’s extremely easy to notice the enormous, striking difference between the common claims regarding what Tisha B’Av is principally about, and what Eicha and Kinnos are actually about.
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