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10/20/2020
 

If Only America Had a Tisha B’Av

BY BRENT NAGTEGAAL

Yesterday was the yearly commemoration of the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem. According to tradition, both the destruction of Solomon’s temple about 2,600 years ago and King Herod’s refurbished temple about 2,000 years ago were destroyed on the same day on the Jewish calendar: Tisha B’Av, or the ninth of the month Av.

The climactic scene of the holiest place in ancient Israel going up in flames has been seared into Jewish memory for 2,000 years. And each year on this day, the lessons of why God allowed it to happen, why He would forsake His own earthly house, is discussed and rehearsed among Jews the world over.

For the past week leading up to Tisha B’Av, it has been refreshing to see many Israeli commentators citing this historic example and warning of the dangerous path the nation is now on as protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned vengeful and violent.

From what I’ve read, I wish that America had its own Tisha B’Av. Perhaps then there would be a more prescient understanding of where America’s divisions are leading.

 
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