The Sceptic Blog

Random thoughts of a random chappy

Barak Obama and Tisha B’Av

with one comment

1. History repeats itself. The Temple was destroyed because as a nation we were abusing our privileged closeness to God, turning the sacrificial system into an excuse for arrogance, corruption and squabbling. The Temple was meant to be a source of spiritual light for the whole world (“my House shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”) and it became a source of shame, highlighting the spiritual bankruptcy of the generation.

2. This year, shortly before we come to the annual mourning for the destruction of the Temple, a non-Jew came to the last remaining wall of the holy edifice. Like millions of others from around the world, he wanted to take advantage of the closeness to God that everybody feels at this holy site, to put something of his heart onto paper and offer it to God.

3. So far, so good. Only some grubby-minded person, who portrays himself and possibly thinks of himself as an orthodox Jew, stole these private thoughts and sent them to a grubby-minded newspaper which published them, simply because the non-Jew is a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America.

4. As we sit on the floor this Tisha B’Av we can deepen our gloom by the knowledge that the present generation shows no less propensity than the generation of the destruction to abuse the Temple site for our own mean-minded petty purposes.

5. Until the generation whole-heartedly and publicly condemns this disgraceful act of indecency – until the thief is exposed and either publicly apologises and renounces his behaviour or is excommunicated – we can be sure that we do not deserve to rebuild the special bond between us and God that the Temple represented.


Written by Daniel Greenberg

August 3, 2008 at 8:22 am

One Response

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  1. What was worst of all was that he claimed to be a “Yeshivah Bachur” who, obviously, was out to make a few bucks and in the process violated a tradition going back for centuries that the “Kvittle” placed in the Kotel is private. In fact, when the bi-annual clear out of Kvittles by the Rav of the Kotel, the kvittles are hidden away wher no-one can have access. Oh, by the way, he apologised. Big deal! The damage was already done.

    Mr Secretary

    August 6, 2008 at 10:32 pm

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