This past Sunday was Tisha B’Av.
The Day when both Beit Hamikdash / Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed.
The first was destroyed by the Babylonians. The Second by the Romans.
Hatred – the Great Time Waster
Many people hated the Jews.
the Babylonians. The Romans. The Greeks. The Ancient Egyptians. The Nazis.
Where are they Now? I don’t know. But we never see them anymore.
The Jews are Here.
Putin recently met with the chief Rabbi of Israel – Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef. He asked a chief rabbi that question – “Why did many great civilizations perish and the Jews remained?”
Putin answered himself – “I’ll tell you. You remained because of the merit of Rabbis and the Torah that you follow.”
Jews have the Torah.
Mark Twain asked the same question in his famous Harpers Row Essay on the Jews:
“What is the secret of the eternity of the Jews?”
He left it unanswered in his essay. But Putin Was right. He got the Answer.
This answers the question – but what can we learn from it?
Survival Based upon Torah
One very important point is that on a worldwide level, national level, family level, and individual level – survival is based upon Torah.
Let’s explain. “And you shall delve in it [the Torah] day and night.” (Yehoshua / Joshua 1:8). One explanation says that if it were not for Torah – G-d wouldn’t have created the world. The world exists because of the constant Torah learning of the Jews. If they were to stop – G-d forbid – one moment – the world would return to Toho Vavohu – chaos.
The Nation’s survival depends upon Torah. When the Jews transgressed the Torah – by commiting the three cardinal sins – idolatry, bloodshed and immorality – in the first temple time – that caused the destruction of the first Temple. In the second temple – it was gratuitous hatred that caused its destruction.
A family’s survival depends upon a Torah education. Assimilation among Jews that never had a Jewish education is rampant. 70% of them intermarry – breaking their chain of descendancy of Judaism from their family. They lose their Jewish legacy.
On a personal level – without Torah – a person gets involved with many vanities and many a time – loses their life in the pursuit of materialism and loses their sight from their goal and purpose in life – to do good for the world. Even if they achieve goodness – it is likely they could have ahieved more – had they learned and observed Torah. I learned most of the above thorugh experience, thought and study of history and statistics.
Lesson Two – Hatred is a Waste of Time
For one thing – a person who hates the Jews – will learn that hatred amounts to nothing more than a waste of time. It is true they will be able to vent their emotions of hate, but what will the gain in the end? Nothing. Did they become a better person for their hate? Did they improve the world? No. Hatred does in a sense serve the Jews – because it cause the Jews to be more united. But the hater will be punished.
There is a story of Nero, the Ceasar.
The Roman authorities then sent Nero Caesar against the Jews. When he came to Jerusalem, he wished to test his fate. He wanted to battle against Jerusalem. He Shot to the east – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He Shot to the west – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He Shot behind him – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He shot an arrow in all four directions and they all fell towards Jerusalem – it flew into the Jerusalem. He saw that the person that would battle Jerusalem would have success. G-d for some reason wanted its downfall.
Nero then conducted another test: He said to a child: Tell me the verse that you learned today. He said to him as follows: “And I will lay My vengeance upon Edom by the hand of My people Israel” (Ezekiel 25:14). Nero said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, wishes to destroy His Temple, and He wishes to wipe his hands with that man, i.e., with me. The Romans are associated with Edom, the descendants of Esau. If I continue on this mission, I will eventually be punished for having served as God’s agent to bring about the destruction. So he fled and became a convert, and ultimately Rabbi Meir descended from him.
Talmud: Gittin 56a
A Child thrashes and moves when changing their diaper. But a simple solution is to give them a toy to play with while you change them. Many use this method. The Nazis used it occupy the Germans – give them something elso to think about so they won’t think about the economy.
Too bad for them. Look at Spain – they drove away the Jews and persecuted them- it lost economically and its status as a world power.
But that is not the main point – haters will hate – because they want to hate.
Learning to Love
Jews can learn not to hate their brothers – if they recognize that the evil inclination is also using the same tactic. The evil inclination inside every person – tells us to focus on hating our fellow. So we hate and waste our time. We waste our potential. We waste our lives hating instead of having loving, productive relations with the people we once loved but now we hate.
What causes hate – because we listen to our emotions. We silence our reasoning and give the reigns of our body, thoughts and words to our angry heart.
G-d wants us to love our fellow Jew. The foundation of the Torah is to “Love Your fellow like yourself.” Like the story of Hillel and the gentile who came to him to convert. He wanted to learn the entire Torah “standing on one
foot.” Hillel said the whole Torah is “What ever is hateful to you, do not do to others.” Rabbi Akiva said – “Love Your fellow like yourself.”
If that is the FOUNDATION of the entire Torah – apparently we should make greater efforts to promote love and peace – not discention and hatred. We shoulf speak words of kindness – not Lashon HaRah.
Let us let go of our hatred for the greater good of following Hash-m’s will.