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Monday, July 18, 2011

Three Weeks of Mourning, Judaism and Details

As of the first lights of dawn tomorrow, we officially begin a period of time known as the Three Weeks.  It's a time of mourning, mourning the invasion of Jerusalem and the destruction of our Holy Temple.  Chazal, our sages, tell us that it was the punishment for baseless hatred.

Because it occurs in the northern hemisphere's summer, when school is out, it's weighted less in the curriculum than the "similar" seven week period of sefira.  We are told that thousands of Rabbi Akiva's students died for rather inexplicable reasons during sefira.

As I mix up these subjects in my mind, I see a possible connection.  Could competition between the students have caused a "baseless hatred?"  We see many Torah observant Jews today competing to discover and strictly observe obscure "chumrot," extra strictness in Jewish Law.  For example, it causes them to declare food traif, unkosher, when it is kosher.  It causes problems within families.

Hatred takes many forms, and it's very easy to find ourselves mired in problematic, troublesome human relationships.  Sometimes the cause can be traced to the best of intentions.  I doubt if anyone of us can honestly say that we're innocent of such sin.

We may as well get started on reflection, teshuva, repentance before the "Elul rush."


aparatchik said...

Good point. "Religious" sin is very tempting as it is clothed in righteous garments.

Anonymous said...

Hey! We have the same Chanukiyah! :)

Batya said...

apara, yep
Shy, Here's The Story Behind The Photo.

Anonymous said...

That Chanukiya's design goes back to the late 50s - early 60s at the most. It is made in Israel. One the bottom of mine it says "Reg(istered). Des(ign). 1733". I assume that's registered with the Ministry of Justice copyright system. Couldn't find it there with a quick online search.

Batya said...

Israeli Judaica of the time was gorgeous.

goyisherebbe said...

It seems to me that when you have an admitted confusion about a subject in Torah, it is wise to seek out the guidance of the rabbi(s) or Torah sage(s)that you consult or should consult when you have a difficulty. Blogging is good after you have done some homework. Welcome back.

Batya said...

goyish, I have lots of problems with the Rabbi Akiva legends and have mentioned them during shiurim. I really think it's a mistake to be so worshipful of the stories of his marriage and separation. It's a very bad role model and nobody can prove otherwise.

Hadassa said...

What's the problem with asking a question or putting forth an idea?
This is a forum for mature, thinking adults.

Batya said...

Hadassa, some people consider my "out of the box" a bit too far from the box.