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Tisha B'Av: "When will the Mourning Stop?"
By Ari Soffer
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:30:58 AM

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  • Tish'a B'Av 2013 is 15/16th July

For millions of Jews across the world, Tish'a B'Av (the 9th Day of the Hebrew month of Av) is a day of sadness, mourning and reflection over the destruction of the ancient Jewish Temples, which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The day is traditionally marked by fasting, prayer and reciting the book of Eicha, also known as Lamentations, which recounts the destruction of the First Temple (Beit Hamikdash in Hebrew) by the Babylonians some two and a half thousand years ago. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE by Imperial Rome on the same day in the Hebrew calendar.

Both events were accompanied by widescale massacres of the city's Jewish inhabitants, and spelled the end of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel - in the latter case for nearly 2,000 years, until the establishment of the modern State of Israel. The day is also used to commemorate various major tragedies which occurred during the Galut, or Exile, of the Jewish nation from its land.

One group, however, feels that many Jews have missed the point, and is trying to restore a collective focus on "the true meaning of Tish'a B'Av."

The Temple Institute is an organization, based in Jerusalem's Old City, which seeks to educate the Jewish and wider public on the history and essence of the Temple. Its International Department, headed by Rabbi Chaim Richman, "provides direct access to the world of the Holy Temple" through educational programs, publications and online lectures.

In preparation for Tish'a B'Av, the Institute has released a video, entitled "The Children are Ready II". The video follows a similar campaign last year, when the Temple Institute's viral video reached an audience of over 1 million viewers.

Now, the Temple Institute has released a sequel which will begin a new genre of Jewish world videos.

The Children are Ready II depicts an emotional journey that begins in a synagogue during the traditional mourning and lamentations of the 9th of Av and ends with a dramatic twist in which the next generation demonstrates their willingness for change and an end to the mourning. The two and a half minute video is likely to emotionally shake up Jewish communities worldwide by reframing the holiday, focusing away from the past and towards the future.

Last year, The Children are Ready inadvertently outraged the Arab world with the Egyptian government releasing a formal complaint and rebuttal videos made by Hamas and other Islamist organizations. The uproar was raised by a coincidental scene in which a newspaper that featured an article on Mohammed Morsi's election fell on the ground.

"The Temple Institute wants people to focus on the true meaning of Tisha B'Av," said Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of the Temple Institute. "Tisha B'Av is not about just mourning, it is about contemplating a world devoid of the Holy Temple, a house of peace and prayer for all nations, and it's about asking: when will the mourning stop?" he added.

Through its educational programs, publications and multimedia lectures online, the Temple Institute's International Department provides direct access to the world of the Holy Temple. The International Department is headed by Rabbi Chaim Richman, a Torah scholar and world renowned expert on the Holy Temple and its significance to mankind. The Temple Institute's English website is the largest online educational resource dealing with The Holy Temple.

Ari Soffer

Article courtesy of Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel

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