The Jerusalem Talmud teaches “The generation in which the Beit Hamikdash, the Temple, is not rebuilt is to be regarded as though the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed in that generation.” Can we establish a corollary that those not working to rebuild it are furthering, or at least mocking the destruction? Those who fast and sit on the floor while denouncing the actions or existence of a sovereign Jewish homeland would be better off eating a bacon cheeseburger on the 9th of Av then pretending to care about the destruction that took place two thousand years ago.
We are closer than we have ever been in the last two thousand years to rebuilding the Temple. We have Jerusalem. We are nearing the Temple Mount. The prophecy of Zecharia (8: 4-5) has been fulfilled; old people sit, children play in the streets of Jerusalem. Those in between shop at Mamilla Mall.
True, the Temple is not standing, but these things don’t happen all at once. True, the government of Israel is not a religious one, but is that a problem? The Jewish people weren’t considered to be in exile during the long reigns of a number of idol-worshiping kings.
When the Israelites were in the desert after escaping slavery in Egypt, they were sustained by a series of miracles. As they approached their destination, the land of Israel, they realized that they soon were going to have to sustain themselves, earning a living through their own efforts, not God’s, not by sitting in Kollel. Many were terrified and rebelled at the thought, preferring to stay in exile in the desert.
At the onset of that journey through the desert, faced with a choice of drowning in the Red Sea or death at the hands of Pharaoh’s army, the people cried and prayed for help. God asked them why they were whining to him and told them to take action on their own. Starting with Nachshon, a few brave chalutzim took the initiative and walked into the sea on the road to Israel. The lesson is the oft-repeated ‘God helps those who help themselves.’
Mocking the Destruction with piety
Those who oppose the Jewish people helping themselves reclaim Jerusalem, reclaim the land of Israel are like the infamous spies in the desert. They opposed entering the land of Israel, resulting in the Jews wandering in the desert for forty years. The Satmar Chassidim, Neturai Karta, J-Street, Jewish Voices for Peace are the reincarnation of those spies trying to keep the Jews from redeeming the land they belong to. Their fasts and lamentations on Tisha B’Av are crocodile tears over the loss of the Temple. Their ideologies, their actions are mocking the destruction.
Get to work
If you want the Temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt, yes fast and lament on Tisha B’av, increase your religious observance. Move to Israel. If you can’t bring yourself to make that big step, work with an Israel advocacy organization, such as The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, Stand With Us, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Honest Reporting (Canada), or any of the many such organizations. If you can’t bring yourself to get involved with an organization, write letters to the editor, complain to the media about their lies and distortions. Promote Israel on social media.
It’s important to cry to God to bring about the redemption. It’s also important to get off your rear end, and make it happen yourself. To do the former but not the latter is mocking the destruction of the Temple.