Tisha B’Av Life Lessons for Every Generation

Tisha B’Av, the Ninth Day of the Hebrew Month of Av (Tisha = 9) marks the day of destruction of the first and second Hebrew Temples that stood in Jerusalem. In ancient Israel, these Temples were the center of life for the Hebrews. Even today, Jews still read and pray about the rituals, sacrifices, and other happenings that took place in and around these Temples. If you travel to Jerusalem now, you can still see and touch parts of the second temple. The Western Wall or Kotel continues to stand as a mark of Jewish resiliency. 

The teachings of Tisha B’Av tell us that the destruction of the Second Temple was a result of Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred). In these lessons, Sinat Chinam is believed to have developed based on a lack of understanding of one another. Today, we live in a world where it’s easier than ever to butt heads over ideologies, opinions, and the ideas of others without so much as considering the life experience that may have led them down this path or listening to their line of thinking without immediate judgment. So, let’s all think about taking some time this Tisha B’Av to think about some of the Sinat Chinam around us and how we can work to combat it within ourselves, our communities, and the world at large. Perhaps the best way to fight Sinat Chinam is by reflecting on a message from Rabbi Abraham Issaac Kook. Rav Kook, as he was known, was a proponent of Ahavat Chinam (baseless love). This Tisha B’Av, let’s bring forward Ahavat Chinam to ALL of those around us, friend or foe, and love each other without judgment.