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Senseless Love

07/27/2017 02:53:34 PM


Rabbi Sam Shabman

Monday, July 31st is the commemoration of Tisha B’Av. Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av, marks the destruction of the Temples which once stood in Jerusalem. It is traditionally a day of sorrow, sadness, and fasting.

Midrash Eicha Rabbah teaches us that the First Temple was destroyed  because of three things: idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed. But why was the Second Temple destroyed, since at that time people were involved in study, mitzvot, and deeds of kindness? The answer is, at that time there was senseless hatred among the Jewish people. This teaches that senseless hatred is as powerful an evil as idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed combined! (Eichah Rabbah 1:33)

Sometimes it feels like senseless hatred still exists in our world. However, I want to highlight to examples of communal love and kindness in our communities.

As many of you know, I spent last Shabbat, and last week at Union for Reform Judaism , Jacobs Camp in Mississippi. A very strange place for someone from New York. However, I was truly amazed by the campers. Many of these campers are the only Jews in their towns and the only Jews in their schools. To experience the Jewish life that they are able to create at camp is inspiring. The campers and staff at Jacobs fill me with hope for our Jewish Communities and for our world at large.

Another powerful example of community is that THIS shabbat, all the Reform Congregations in Atlanta will join together to celebrate Shabbat at the Davis Academy. How amazing is it that our Atlanta Reform Community is able to gather together in song, and prayer and worship? This is a friendly reminder that Temple Sinai will be dark on Friday July 28th.

While hatred in our Jewish communities is penned to be the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple on the 9th of Av...let us think of positivity in our Jewish Communities today. Let us think of new ways we can fill our world with senseless love, instead of senseless hatred.  May be it be a shabbat shalom for ALL.



Tue, January 26 2021 13 Sh'vat 5781