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    Is Tishah B’Av still relevant? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Is the fast of Tishah B’Av still relevant today?

    Reciting Kinnot at the Kotel on Tishah B'Av

    A. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, it has been asked whether Tishah B’Av ought not to be abandoned. Has not the Jewish State risen once more and Jewry been restored to the land?

    The question has become even more pressing since the events of 1967. How can we realistically bemoan “the city that sits solitary” when we have had the privilege of seeing Jerusalem become a pulsating, united capital again?

    The answer is threefold:
    1. The inspiring events of which we are witness cannot blind us to the fact that the Temple has not been rebuilt and the security of the Land is still under threat.

    2. Tishah B’Av is a day of mourning for many tragedies which have left lasting effects on Jewish life, culminating in the Holocaust. In our joy, dare we forget those who died?

    3. Tishah B’Av is concerned not only with a physical exile but also with a spiritual one. The return to the Land of Israel is only the beginning of the Messianic Age. The complete redemption will have to see the rule of truth, justice and peace among all men: the establishment of a Jerusalem of the spirit. That is a fulfilment for which we still have to strive hard and long.

    It would be naive and false to our history if Tishah B’Av were to be erased from our calendar.

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