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    Our national Yahrzeit

    Fasting and praying on Tishah B’Av sounds like a good idea but only a minority take any note of the occasion.

    Most people are busy with their lives and aren’t interested in a historical commemoration. Surprising, since almost everyone observes their family Yahrzeits, and this is the national Yahrzeit of the entire Jewish family.

    What we lost when the Temple was destroyed was not only a great edifice but a great concept: That a major way to spirituality was to gather in a sacred place on sacred occasions and to bring offerings. The Temple was lost, but the great idea survived.

    Throughout history we have continued to be a community, to ask God’s blessing, and to give of ourselves and our means for the sake of our heritage. Indeed Jewish life has been an unending Tishah B’Av.

    Napoleon once passed a synagogue and heard wailing. He wondered if some catastrophe had happened. He was told it was the fast of Av and they were lamenting the loss of their Temple.

    He commented, “A people who weep for a building they never saw will live to see it rebuilt”.

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