by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Why are you fasting today? “The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day commemorating (lamenting) the breach of the walls of Jerusalem leading to the destruction of the 2nd Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple) 3 weeks later.”
Jerusalem has been rebuilt! It’s inhabited by more Jewish people (probably by a factor of 10) than it’s ever been inhabited by in history. It’s under a Jewish government (efficient, no, halachic, no, kind, no, but run by Jewish people, yes.)
Are you mourning the deaths of the population and many tragedies leading to deaths on this date? Yet, the Holocaust overshadows all those both in numbers and in impact to Judaism (with the destruction of every major world yeshiva). And you don’t fast for that.
Are you lamenting the start of the loss of the Beis HaMikdash? Lamenting with meaning leads to doing something about it! What have you done about it? Have you worked towards rebuilding it? Have you donated materials? Helped work out an architectural plan? Helped compile the actual materials like Dovid HaMelech did for later building? (Assuming we can’t actually begin building now.) HAVE YOU DONE ANYTHING???
You’ve prayed, you’ve said tehillim, you’ve said selichos, you’ve mourned, you’ve asked Hashem to rebuild the Beis HaMikdash and (3 times a day) to rebuild Jerusalem.
That prayer has helped! It laid the spiritual groundwork to lay the physical groundwork that allowed Jerusalem to be rebuild! But the rebuilding took bricks and mortar, men and machines, streets being paved and pipes being laid.
But what about the Beis HaMikdash??? What have you DONE towards the Beis HaMikdash?
Oh, you hold that Hashem will drop the Beis HaMikdash whole from Shamayim (from Heaven) without us having to build it. Ok, that’s well and good. But what other mitzvah of the Torah do you just pray over without DOING anything? If you pray for tefillin but don’t put them on…no mitzvah. If you pray for matzah on Passover but don’t eat any…no mitzvah.
Every single mitzvah of the Torah requires you to DO something.
What are you DOING about the 17th of Tammuz? If you are DOING nothing, why are you fasting?
(Photo – Forest fire in the Jerusalem forest going up into Mevezeret Tzion from yesterday.)