Monday, 27 July 2015

Tisha B'Av, a day of national mourning

The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.
The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Excavated stones from the Western Wal...
English: Excavated stones from the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (Jerusalem), knocked onto the street below by Roman battering rams in 70 C.E. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yesterday it was Tisha B'Av, a day of national mourning and for many Jews the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.

All around the world, the Jewish People are in deep sorrow over the destruction of the Holy Temple in which the Shekhinah (Divine Presence) dwelled here in Israel among His people.

"I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you." (Leviticus 26:11)

The destruction of the First and Second Temples in 586 BCE by the Babylonians and in 70 CE by the Romans, and the resulting brutal exiles, are still deeply felt by the Jewish People today.

For that reason, many Jews did fast yesterday, and in synagogues around the world yesterday morning, the Torah portion was Deuteronomy 4:25–40, which prophesies Israel's future iniquity and exile.
Deu 4:25-40 HRB  When you father sons and son's sons, and you have been long in the land, and have dealt corruptly, and have made a graven image, a likeness of anything, and have done evil in the sight of YAHWEH your Elohim, to provoke Him to anger;  (26)  I call the heavens and the earth to witness against you today that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land to which you go over the Jordan to possess it; you shall not prolong your days on it, but shall utterly be destroyed.  (27)  And YAHWEH shall scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations to which YAHWEH shall lead you away.  (28)  And there you shall serve other gods, the work of man's hands, wood and stone, which cannot see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.  (29)  And if you shall seek YAHWEH your Elohim from there, then you shall find Him, if you seek Him with your whole heart, and with all your soul,  (30)  in your distress, when all these things have found you, in the latter days, then you shall return to YAHWEH your Elohim, and shall listen to His voice.  (31)  For YAHWEH your El is a merciful Elohim. He will not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.  (32)  For ask now of the days past which were before you, since the day that Elohim created man on the earth, and from the one end of the heavens to the other end of the heavens, whether there has been a thing as great as this, or has anything like it been heard.  (33)  Has a people heard the voice of Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and lived?  (34)  Or has Elohim gone forth to take to Himself a nation from the midst of a nation, by trials, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that YAHWEH your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes?  (35)  To you it was revealed, so that you might know that YAHWEH He is The Elohim, and nothing exists without Him.  (36)  He made you hear His voice out of the heavens, that He might discipline you; and He made you to see His great fire on earth; and you heard His Word from the midst of the fire.  (37)  And because He loved your fathers, and chose their seed after them, and brought you out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt,  (38)  in order to drive out nations greater and mightier than you from before you, to bring you in, to give their land for an inheritance, as it is this day;  (39)  know today, and lay it to your heart, that YAHWEH, He is The Elohim in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Nothing Else.  (40)  And you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am commanding you today, so that it may be well with you, and with your sons after you, and so that you may prolong your days on the earth, which YAHWEH our Elohim is giving to you all the days.

The Haftarah (prophetic portion) yesterday morning was Jeremiah 8:13–9:23, which accurately describes the desolation of Zion.

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