Defining the Jewish Diaspora

in

Sunset tonight begins the 9th day of the month of Av (Tisha B’Av) on the Hebrew calendar. This day is said to be the lowest of all days in the year, or in other words the most cursed day in history according to the Jewish reckoning of time.

It was on this day that Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. Since history has a way of repeating itself, it is recorded that on this very same day the second Jewish Temple was also destroyed later on by the Romans in AD70.

A year later on this day, the Romans finished off the city of Jerusalem with a final seige that razed the entire city.

On Av 9, AD135 the Bar Kokhba revolt collapsed, the city of Betar was destroyed, and Bar Kokhba was killed.

In more modern times, it was on this day, that Germany declared war on Russia in WWI.

On Av 9, 1942 the first transports carrying Jews into Treblinka.

The extermination of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto began on this day.

Rather than lament over the past, I believe it is important to apply the past as lessons for the present. For all we know, the past is a myth and the future is a dream. The present moment… the current nanosecond is the only reality that truly exists.

So what do these histories, legends, myths, stories, and fables have to teach us?

That we, as the living Temple of the divine, will one day meet the same fate as the temples of Solomon, Zerubabel/Herod, and a great many other holy edifices. Death is coming for every one of us… how we live at THIS very moment is the only action of any consequence.

Outside of the sensory world, there are many temples that we build and destroy on a daily basis. Each of us has the ability to repair them or to heap even more destruction upon the ruins of the old. Which we do is simply a matter of the choices that we choose. Heaven and hell are within….

I know the pieces fit
‘Cause I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering
Fundamental differing
Pure intention juxtaposed
Will set two lovers’ souls in motion
Disintegrating as it goes
Testing our communication
The light that fueled our fire then
Has burnt a hole between us so
We cannot see to reach an end
Crippling our communication

I know the pieces fit
‘Cause I watched them tumble down
No-fault, none to blame
It doesn’t mean I don’t desire to
Point the finger, blame the other
Watch the temple topple over
To bring the pieces back together
Rediscover communication

The poetry
That comes from the squaring off between
And the circling is worth it
Finding beauty in the dissonance

There was a time that the pieces fit
But I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering
Strangled by our coveting
I’ve done the math enough to know
The dangers of our second-guessing
Doomed to crumble unless we grow
And strengthen our communication

Cold silence has
A tendency to
Atrophy any
Sense of compassion
Between supposed brothers
Between supposed lovers

I know the pieces fit
I know the pieces fit
I know the pieces fit
I know the pieces fit
I know the pieces fit
I know the pieces fit
I know the pieces fit
I know the pieces fit

~Schism by Tool

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

A brief History of Jewish Music

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” The Jewish people have always taken this phrase very seriously. While there are not typically choirs found in a Jewish service – only ... Read More

Jewish World to come

Death is when our souls leave most of the constraints of the physical world and gradually become closer and closer to G-d for an infinity of time. Each step of ... Read More

Dubno Maggid

The Maggid of Dubno, Rabbi Yaakov (Jacob) Kranz, was born circa 1740 and died in 1804. He was a major figure on the European Jewish scene. He was a contemporary ... Read More

What Food is Eaten on Hanukkah

Traditional Hanukkah recipes and menus The Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucids. The Maccabees entered the Temple to light the menorah (branched candelabra) ... Read More

Testimonies What Does it Mean to be a Jew?

As a twenty-something living in a society whose twists and turns down the path of peace and prosperity are full of missteps and miscalculations, to me being Jewish means Tikkun ... Read More