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tisha beav 8-9

tisha beav 8-9

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באב העשת
What are you crying for?
By: Rabbi Joseph beyda
Tisha B'Av, our day of nationalmourning, marks a number of calamities,including the destruction of the BeitHamikdash on two different occasions.The Mishnah in Ta'anit details five tragicevents which occurred on the 9th of Av:(1) The generation who left Egyptreceived their decree not to enter intothe Land of Israel (as a result of the sin of the spies) (2) The first Temple wasdestroyed (3) The second Temple wasdestroyed (4) The city of 
wascaptured (its inhabitants were murderedin cold blood by the Romans and their bodies were left to rot)(5) The city of Jerusalem was plowedunder.To the first time reader, it seemsastounding that all of these events wouldhave taken place in the same calendardate. Could this be a coincidence? Of course, pure coincidence is not in our belief system, especially when it comesto divine involvement. In a Midrash onParashat Shelach, our Rabbis trace theoriginsof this date as a time of nationalmourning. God selected this date inresponse to reaction of the People of Israel to the report of the spies. TheTorah states, "and the nation cried onthat night." Probably to explain thephrase,
one that night,
the Midrashexpands, "they cried on the 9th of Av,and G-d said to them 'you cried aworthless (
) cry before Me,I will establish for you crying forgenerations,' at that time the destructionof the Beit HaMikdash was decreed."Intended to highlight the gravity of the sinof the generation of the midbar, a questionarises as to the justice of Hashem'sdecision. As awful and ungrateful as theactions of that generation were, is it fittingthat generations thousands of years laterwould have to suffer? Couldn't G-d havelimited the punishment to that generation?Wasn't it enough that those who cried invain did not get to enter the PromisedLand?I believe we need to read the Midrash froma slightly different perspective. PerhapsG-d was not punishing Israel, but teachingthem. Israel's sin was that of notappreciating what G-d had done and wasdoing for them. For that, they did notmerit the Promised Land. However, theirunder-appreciation was not a result of poor character as much as it was poorperspective. G-d laments that their crieswere in vain, worthless. Instead, Heproclaims, there will be crying forgenerations. Not worthless crying, butpurposeful crying.Crying is a human need. Every one of ushas deep emotion welled up inside of 
him/her and inevitably needs to express
that emotion. Occasionally, that emotionwill be one of fear and sadness. Knowinghow and when to appropriately expressthose emotions is the mark of maturity.What God was saying that fateful night inthe desert was that He would ensure thatBnei Yisrael would learn how and when tocry and thereby gain this maturity. He didso by making sure that the severepunishments He would administer, whichwould be the result of sins of those latergenerations, would take place on the samedate. This way, the date would turn intoone in which we, as a nation, could focuson what it means to cry. Collectively, wewould develop practices for mourning,lamentations for recitation, andperspective with which to view the awfulevents that have befallen our People.Reading the Midrash this way viewsHashem as a parent, an educator, ratherthan as a stern and vengeful punisher.It is our responsibility then, as the childrenof G-d and the descendants of thegeneration of the midbar and those whohave suffered throughout the generations,to take hold of the 9th of Av. We need tounderstand that the day has been selectedas one on which we cry, cries of perspective and maturity. Cries that bemoan the fact that, after so manythousands of years, we still do notappreciate that which G-d has done for usand us doing for us. Cries that wail overthe suffering so many of our descendantshave endured so that we may live as Jews.Hopefully, G-d will hear those cries andrealize that we, as a people, have maturedand that we are prepared for His finalredemption.
Inside this Issue
Laws of TIsh
a Be
Av: Page 2 Rabbi David Tawil: Page 6Rabbi Albert Setton: Page 3 Rabbi Isaac Tawil: Page 7Rabbi Eric Mizrahi: Pages 4 & 5 Schedule & Times: Page 8
Summer 2011
Sephardic Community Alliance at the JCC 
Building our Future by Preserving our Past
Summer 2011 PAGE 2
Halacha haven-
ט לש םייוניע'באב
 1. There are a number of addedprohibitions on the day of 
באב העשת
 from other rabbinic fast days:
לדנסה תליענ
(wearing leather shoes),
הרות דומיל
(learning Torah) and
הטמה שימשת
(relations betweenhusband and wife). Theseprohibitions are in common withgeneral mourning for a loved one,and are therefore implemented onthis day of national mourning for all Jewish people.
 (מג'סמ'ל ףד תינעת).
Washing one’s body with
the intent to derive benefit isforbidden on
באב העשת
, both in hotand cold water. One may not evenplace their finger into water for thepurposes of receiving benefit fromsuch washing.
 (ןמיס ךורע ןחלושו רוטדנקת'ז ףיעס'
However, when onewakes up in the morning they maywash their hands up to the knucklesfor the purposes of removing the
, and by doing so are properlypreparing themselves for prayers.
The same goes for washing one’s
hands when coming out of the bathroom.3. One who has discharge from theireyes when they wake up may usewater to remove crust and dirt fromeyelids and crevaces around the eye.
 (וש"יס ע'דנקת'עס'אי'
 4. One who is cooking on
באב העשת
 may wash vegetables, meat and otherproduce without being concernedthat water may go onto their handsfor their intentions are not to washtheir hands but the food which theyare holding.
 (םירבד תשרפ יח שיא ןבבכ תוא'
 5. One whose hands are dirty frommud, dirt and the like may wash theyhands to remove these substances, forsuch washing is not for deriving
 benefit but for removing disgusting
substances from one’s hands.
ס ךורע'דנקת'עס'ט'
are permitted to wash theirhands for the purposes of performing theMitzvah of 
םינהכ תכרב
in the afternoon(there is no
םינהכ תכרב
during morningprayers just like in the house of amourner), since this is not washing forpersonal benefit but rather for thepurpose of the Mitzvah.7.
- One is forbidden fromanointing themselves on
ב העשתבא
. Thisincludes moisturizers, lotions, soaps,fragrances, makeup, etc. It is not only
forbidden to anoint one’s whole body,
 but even anointing one limb isprohibited. One may use unscenteddeodorant to prevent from sweatingsince this is not anointing. Cosmeticsused to heal infections, boils, warts, orother already existing skin problems arepermitted.
 (וש"יס ע'עס דנקת'יבגל וט ע שארבש ןיטטח"ש
הטמה שימשת
- It is forbidden forhusband and wife to have relations on
באב העשת
. According to many
 it is proper for husband and wife to bestringent and follow all of the
  just as it would be if a woman was
,such as separating the beds, nottouching, and even avoiding passingobjects from hand to hand.
 (יח שיא ןבגכ תוא םירבד תשרפ
. However,
writes that this is an extrastringency and that one may pass objectsfrom hand to hand and does not need to be careful from avoiding normal contactwith their spouse. (It is still proper toavoid touching in areas that wouldnormally be covered as well as huggingand kissing which is forbidden during
by the
.) 9.
הרות דומיל
- One is forbidden fromengaging in their normal learning
of Torah on
באב העשת
. However, one maystudy topics of sadness, such as the story of 
which retells the horror of thedestruction of the Temple or certainprophecies from the book of 
 which discuss the anguish of thedestruction of Jerusalem. One may alsolearn about the laws of mourning andselect passages from the
whichdiscuss the destruction of the Temple.(That being said, one who will sit passive
if they can’t learn what they desire
should indeed learn rather than toil inthings that are not in keeping with thesolemn nature of the day.)10.
םירחא םירוסיא
- One who normallysleeps with two pillows should try tosleep with one less pillow to makehimself a little more uncomfortable.11. Sephardic custom is to sit on thefloor starting from
תקספמה תדועס
 through midday of 
באב העשת
, similar tothe way a mourner sits on the floor forseven days. 12. One should not greet his fellow manon
באב העשת
; if one desires to greettheir friend it is customary to give asolemn greeting and to say,
"הכזתןויצ תמחנב"
“May you merit in the
comforting of Zion”.
13. One should avoid working on the dayof 
באב העשת
, as our Rabbis teach us,
"טב הכאלמ השועה לכ'האור וניא באב םלועל הכרב ןמיס"
“One who works onthe day of Tish’a Be’Av does not see blessing [from this work] forever”.
 (ארמגסמ'ל ףד תינעת):
However, in a placewhere it is customary to work on this dayit is permitted.
 (וש"יס ע'דנקת'עס'בכ ע"מג פ'סמ'דמ ףד םיחספ):
Still, aperson should try to limit the amount of work he does, since according
to law wetry to limit the amount of work doneeven during the nine days from
באב העשת
Summer 2011 PAGE 3
The calamities that befell Am Yisrael onthe days of 17
of Tammuz and 9
of Av
are outlined in Ta’anit (26a). Five horrific
events are described for each day. On the17
of Tammuz:1.
תירבה תוחול
were broken
דימת ןברק
offering in theFirst Temple was terminated
The walls of 
were breached during the SecondTemple4.
burnt the Torah5.
An idol was placed in the
of the Temple
On the 9
of Av:1.
It was decreed that thegeneration in the desert wouldnot enter the Holy Land2.
The first Temple was destroyed3.
The second Temple wasdestroyed4.
The city of 
and the Jewishking fell at the hands of theRomans5.
plowed the TemplemountA cursory glance at these events evokes arecollection of a familiar set of ten lawsthat were subdivided into two groupings-the Ten Commandments. Whereas theclassification of the two sets of five in thelatter grouping is largely well known(along the lines of Man and his deity, andMan and his acquaintance), there is noself-evident demarcation between theepisodes of the two fast days.However, an irrefutable delineation of thetwo tragic days surfaces with properanalysis. The first occurrence on each daywas a direct response to the actions of AmYisrael. The
were broken becauseAm Yisrael was in the midst of frivolitiesand celebrations of a newly-crafted goldencalf. The generation of the desert wasdenied admittance to the Holy Land only
after lamenting the dreadfulness of the HolyLand. On the 17
of Tammuz, there was a breakdown in the relationship of Am Yisraeland God. The 9
of Av, though, denoted afailure in the bond between Am Yisrael andthe land of Israel.The ability of Am Yisrael to sanctify time iswell known.
Rosh Chodesh
cannot occurwithout the verbal expression of Bet Din,
irrespective of the moon’s reincarnation
(i.e.: a cloudy night would prevent Bet Dinfrom heralding in the new month, even if they knew unequivocally that the birth of the new moon had already occurred). Thus,the blessing for holidays is
"לארשי שדקמםינמזהו"
sanctified are the Jewish peopleand the times
, firstly mentioning theholiness of Am Yisrael, who then proceed toconsecrate the times of the holidays. In amuch similar albeit tragic fashion, AmYisrael qualified the days of the 17
of Tammuz and the 9
of Av. Henceforth, allevents that embodied the weakening of thelink of Am Yisrael and God would manifestthemselves on the 17
of Tammuz, whereasthe 9
of Av would serve to epitomize thedisparate link of Am Yisrael and theircountry.Therefore all of the five events on the 17
of Tammuz are uncannily analogous. The breaking of the
, burning of theTorah, placement of an idol in the Temple,cessation of the daily offering, and the entryof non-
 Jewish legions into God’s city
-- all
reflect a deterioration of Am Yisrael’sposition as God’s chosen people. An obvious
remedy for these calamities is thestrengthening of our study of Torah andconnection to
"םימשבש וניבא"
, our fatherin the Heavens.
On Tisha Be’av, however, the conduit for
expression of repentance will be palpablydivergent. We do not need to mend ourconnection with God (hopefully we havesuccessfully done so on 17
of Tammuzand the three weeks in between). Wenow must apply our efforts into acquiringa love for the land which we rejectedmany years ago. We must strive for anenduring, undeviating adoration of theland. It cannot be based on trivialsubstances that one may often experienceas a tourist on vacation.
,delectable fruit and fresh baked breadcannot constitute the foundation of ourconnection to the land.
"היולתה הבהאםייקתהל ופוס ןיא רבדב"
love rootedin transitory objects cannot endure
;rather, it is requisite for theunderpinnings of our emotions to beentrenched in a more profound essence.A veritable comprehension of the land of Israel will guide us towards thefoundations of the authentic sentimentsone must have towards the Holy Land.At its core, Israel is a land of 
,holiness. It is the land from which Godchose to emanate his glory. It is the onlycountry that experiences the constantsupervision of God. Only there, can onetruly experience the ultimate spiritualexistence as mandated by the Torah. Theyearning for a life of 
and holinessmust anchor our sentiments towards theland of Israel. If this tenet is at theforefront of our ruminations about theHoly Land, and the crux of our prayers,
then the day of Tisha Be’Av will be newly
consecrated. No longer will it symbolizeour attachment to the land of Israel.Instead, it will signify the unyielding bonds between Hashem, Am Yisrael, andEretz Yisrael.
"ה רמא הכ'תואבצםוציעיברהםוצו ירישעה םוצו יעיבשה םוצו ישימחההיהיהחמשלו ןוששל הדוהי תיבלאהו םיבוט םידעמלוםולשהו תמובהא"

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