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Joshua Cypess
+ Your AuthorsArchive @JoshuaCypess PhD social scientist & Orthodox Rabbi. We're all in this together. He/him. #BlackLivesMatter #Steelers #Mets #Resist Jul. 18, 2021 2 min read

1/ A thread for #9Av 5781. #ReshetKeshet

I've noticed, now having three b'nai mitzvah kids, that nobody gives a kinot book as a gift. Can't blame them, of course. We have a necessary ideology that 9Av can change to a holiday very soon, so why gift a book?

2/ I like Rabbi Dr. @NatanSlifkin's nuance to what "sinat chinam" - normally translated as "baseless hatred" - means. It's hatred that brings no gain; it's hurting yourself in order to hurt your perceived enemy more.

Sounds familiar in our day, no? 

3a/ OTOH, this story by Dinah Paritzky is horrifying. Not only is it cruel & abusive, not only can the lesson be taught in less violent means, it's the wrong lesson! The impulse to concentrate on the physical building is #Literalist, as is the cruel act. 

3b/ It's #Literalist because the teachers feel they can't ask the kids to imagine the loss of their models, they need to actively destroy them. It's solipsism and surface thinking.
[I'm repeating this paragraph b/c I ran out of alt-text characters above]

3c/ It's the wrong lesson because #9av is NOT about the physical temple. That's just a building! This is #Literalist avoda-zara that converts a physical object higher than the ideas. It also diminishes the sin of the spies - a self-centered act that killed 600K people (familiar?)

3d/ The loss of the Temple is the loss of the full picture of halakha and Torah. We live in a time of permanent emergency halakha with the heart of the Torah - the Temple, tumah & taharah - completely gone. We have no *kedusha* - that's what we mourn.

3e/ We have no Sanhedrin without the Temple. We can't decide law reliably. Disputes are a permanent fixture of halakha - not as a preliminary step (which is good and needed) but as the conclusion! This is terrible; it makes multiple Torahs, obscures the Truth of God.

3f/ Beitar (another #9Av event) was the beginning of the end of the Tannaim, the last generation with the authority to interpret - even CHANGE the essential meaning - of the Torah.

Chicken with milk? Could be kosher, if we still had Tannaim. Lost on #9Av 

3g/ If you think halakha is sclerotic and doesn't change enough with new conditions; if the plight of agunahs - who could be easily freed with a functioning Sanhedrin - make you question the ethics or value of halakha; then you know the pain and meaning of #TishaBeav

3h/ It's not about the building! If they made it about the lives lost on #9Av - and every Jewish tragedy since that gets put under the day's rubric - it would be correct. But to think it's about wood & rocks?!

It's about the chillul Hashem of Judaism in exile. Mourn THAT.

4/ While I have more thoughts on #9Av, I'll make another thread and preserve this one written in the midst of the day.


please compile.

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