Why Tisha Ba’v Matters Today

In order to control the world around you, you must first be able to control yourself.

When everything seems to be spinning out of control, it is often not what is happening outside that is the root of the problem, but what is happening inside.

This concept not only applies to individuals, but also to groups.

This past week, the front page of my newspaper in Israel presented different variations of the same headline every day.

“Day after attack on soldier, ultra-Orthodox neighborhood unabashed”

“Two charged in attack on ultra-Orthodox soldier”

“Religious soldier attacked in ulta-Orthodox neighborhood”

The Jewish people as a whole have faced threats since the beginning of our existence.  Of all these threats, the most disturbing is the threat that comes from within.

If you can not control what is happening inside you, you won’t be able to control what is happening outside of you.

Whatever your views on conscription laws or on any other issue concerning the Jewish people or the Jewish state, divisive action and violence only create inner turmoil. When we can not even make peace within our own community, how do we expect to make peace outside of it?

With Tisha Ba’v coming up this week, Jewish people around the world will be remembering the destruction of the Temple.  A reason often cited for the Temple’s destruction is baseless hatred.  Today, when I see daily reports of violence between Jews, I am reminded of the importance of strengthening bonds and acting with love toward my fellow Jews.  I remind myself that the only way to face the world is by first facing myself and I hope that we as a nation can also remind ourselves that the only way to face the world is by facing each other and connecting as the unified body that we are meant to be.



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