"The Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem"Francesco Hayez
This year the fast was actually on the 10th, because the 9th was on Shabbat. In years when we fast on the 9th of Av, our local swimming pool isn't open on the 10th or opens very late in the day.
I was in galus, galut, the diaspora this Tisha b'Av and went to synagogue on both Shabbat and the Eicha reading Saturday night. Unfortunately I was greatly disturbed by the rabbi's sermon. I kept asking my hostess if I had imagined it, or maybe missed some crucial sections. Her recollection of it jives with mine.
Somehow the rabbi turned it into a paean, praise for the great freedoms and opportunities for Jews in the United States and neglected to mention that our thoughts are supposed to be on the loss of our Temples and the need to speedily build a Third Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple.
Of all the ancient holidays and fasts we Jews observe, Tisha b'Av and the Three Weeks preceding are the most nationalist days on the traditional Jewish Calendar. We are mourning the loss of our Holy Temple and independent kingdom, which ruled the Jewish Nation. We are supposed to prepare ourselves to return to the Land and build a new Temple. That's the message.
For a rabbi to use the Shabbat Chazon sermon to praise the United States is sacrilegious. It's a disgrace. For what was he mourning and fasting for? Could it be that as an American rabbi he can't envision the return of the Jewish People to the Holy Land and the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple?