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Every day, every moment, we are presented with a choice.

08/05/2017 04:00:00 AM

Aug5

This past week we observed the holiday of Tisha B'av. The holy day of Tisha B'av commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. The first Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by the Babylonians and the second Temple in 70 CE by the Romans. For many Jews, this is a day of fasting and mourning. It serves as reminder of some sort of primal tear and severing between the Jewish people and God. The Temple in Jerusalem was the main way for people to connect to God. It was done through sacrifice and served as a symbol and means for connection. Therefore, every year we as Jews remember life as it once was and how it could be again. However, as Reform Jews we take a slightly different view of these catastrophic events. These events, probably paved the way for Jewish survival through the years. With the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem Jews were forced to adapt. They were faced with the question, how to be Jewish without sacrifices and the Temple? It was because of this question Jews adapted. They invented prayer to take the place of sacrifice. We introduced the weekly Torah reading, making Judaism accessible to the masses. The destruction of the Temple, while tragic, was not a tragedy. It was an opportunity. An opportunity to grow, to adapt, to become something stronger that met the needs of people where they were. Every day, every moment, we are presented with a choice. That choice is how are we going to react to this situation. Tisha B'av reminds us that we can mourn or we can act. We can atrophy or we can adapt and become stronger. The choice, and the power, do not belong to someone else, they belong to us.

Sat, September 21 2019 21 Elul 5779