Beyond the Cusp

July 26, 2015

The Ninth of Av is our Tribute and Remembrance of the Temples and their Destructions

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Please forgive me if I get preachy or seem overly sentimental but that is what even the name Jerusalem means to me. Additionally to the destruction of both Temples, the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the vindictive Romans who did all in their power to render unto the Jews the same dispersions that ended Carthage, and the sin of the spies and all the other calamities tied to the Ninth of Av (Tisha b’Av), I add my sister’s passing exactly a week after the ninth. This year the Ninth of Av is observed has been pushed one day to the Tenth as such sorrows must not be expressed on the Sabbath conditions permitting. The Ninth of Av has become the collection date where some liberties are suspected such that every ill and evil edict or calamity of every sort is claimed to have some reference to the Ninth of Av. Some of the horrors which fell on this fateful day include the expulsions from England on July 18, 1290 CE, expelled from France on July 22, 1306 CE, and from Spain the edict of expulsion was signed on March 31, 1492 CE, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country which fell on July 31, 1492 CE, all the Ninth of Av. Then there was the sin of the Golden Calf, August 15, 1096 the start of the Crusades and the killings Jews often suffered succumbing to the blades of the Crusader knights who had not previously killed in order to desensitize them to killing such that they would not hesitate in battle and thus be killed before they served the charge of the Church. Start of World War I was August 1–2, 1914; SS commander Heinrich Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for “The Final Solution” on August 2, 1941; on July 23, 1942 (Av 9, AM 5702), began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka, all dates coincide with the Ninth of Av. Modern events which land close to the Ninth of Av were AMIA bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and injuring 300 on July 18, 1994 and Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, also known as the “Disengagement plan”, “Gaza expulsion plan”, or Hitnatkut, August 15, 2005 both fell on Tenth of Av. Needless to add that numerous other calamities were rumored or simply had memories re-date events to bring them into line with the Ninth of Av but even without fudging dates there are probably numerous other events throughout Jewish history where lesser horrors fell on the Ninth of Av and as such individual services of these groups would include their individual commiserations.


The observance of the Ninth of Av itself is a fast day spent in remembrance of historic calamities, some self-imposed but most disasters thrust upon the Jewish people, some times to all or the majority of all Jews and other times to large enough communities that we all remember and mourn and others only affecting a smaller community which we all remember but the singular community bears a special lament. Any way your congregation or community grieves over the mutual and individual historic injustices, expulsions, transgression and pogroms we must also hold that hope that for all our families will soon spend the next Ninth of Av together living in our own ancient lands rebuilding the Temple for the final time and soon return to lives as Torah spells out and this time can we please remain true remembering every Ninth of Av what has stormed our people when we strayed and were dispersed as punishment for our transgressions. May your fast lay easy upon you.


Temple Institute concept for what building the Third Temple in modern day Jerusalem would appear like from a distance with modern buildings of Jerusalem in the background. May their vision and this concept figure become fact and fulfill our desires for unity and a single Temple and House for Hashem in our midst. May this dream be fulfilled before the next Ninth of Av so our lament will be lessened.

Temple Institute concept for what building the Third Temple in modern day Jerusalem would appear like from a distance with modern buildings of Jerusalem in the background. May their vision and this concept figure become fact and fulfill our desires for unity and a single Temple and House for Hashem in our midst. May this dream be fulfilled before the next Ninth of Av so our lament will be lessened.


Beyond the Cusp


June 23, 2011

So You Believe the Stone a Dog Story. May I sell You a Bridge?

Now that thousands of people around the world believes the story that broke out in numerous news services and was covered in Ynet, BBC, Reuters, and other mainstream media outlets, Ynet placed a disclaimer by the Chief Rabbi of the Rabbinical Court in question explaining that no such event had occurred and the story was without basis or merit yet that part of the story miraculously was not included in all of the follow-up stories based upon Ynet’s initial story. Ynet presumably read the story in some local neighborhood newsletter and failed to check beyond asking the Head Rabbi of the court who had debunked the story, as reported by Ynet in their article. This unfortunately was left out of all the following stories either by mistake, oversight, or a remote chance intestinally in order to make the story more inflammable and enticing.

This story quickly went viral becoming the most read story on the internet for a few days. Now it has been pulled by most of the reporting news agencies without mention of its fallacy. Some have written an intro stating the original article has been debunked as false. With many of the articles simply pulled with no explanation is, by my standards, unforgiveable as it allows for the rumor that the story was simply pulled due to the Jewish influence instead of because it was false. These news outlets owe the reputation of this Rabbinical Court, Orthodox Jews, Israel, and all Jews the dignity of admitting their error and stating the truth that the reputed event never happened, not simply burry it by killing the link. Stand up and own up by placing an additional article replacing the article while leaving the link active telling the truth so this untrue story will be put down instead of allowed rumors to abound and keep it alive. You would want the same vindication that the Rabbinical Court deserves if you were slandered and would demand nothing less, so why have you avoided clearing the name and reputation in this case? My reporting that this story of Jewish inhuman treatment of a dog in the worst possible way by influencing children to commit such a heinous act being false will hold no worth compared to the BBC, Reuters, Yahoo News, et al reporting the story then simply pulling the link a few days later giving people a “dead link” message or error code instead of giving honor to those whose image and reputations you mired with this horrid tale and owning up and dispelling the image slurring your reports have produced. You may as well have thrown anti-Semitic chum into the news cycle, then refused to scatter the anti-Semitic sharks who drool for such slander. Kill the story, not the article. Own your erroneous report and fix the damage, not hide and act as if you never released the damning story.

The real problem with this story is twofold. The first, and lesser reason is that in order to stay even or ahead of every other news source with the rampant 24/7 news coverage, stories are no longer vetted as they probably should be vetted. Please tell me it cannot be that any stories that sound good enough are considered good enough to release without further checking. Ynet at least contacted the court’s Chief Rabbi but was negligent in not stressing his refuting the story more prominently so there would be no doubt, or at least less confusion. Everyone else who reported this story without doing any checking is guilty, guilty, guilty. Even I know to check things that sound ridiculous, or was it that since the dog had been sentenced to death by stoning by those “crazy” Orthodox Rabbis, it just had to be true? I sure hope that no one actually thought, “Oh gee, it’s those Orthodox Jews, they’re likely to do anything, this isn’t too crazy or unusual, why check it, it must be true.” Do you really want me to believe that the reporter who found this story, the editor who edited the story, the copy editor, the web manager, nobody thought for one moment, “Hey, this sounds insane. Perhaps I should have somebody call someone and check the validity.” Or was it because these were Orthodox Rabbis it was easy to believe. Puleeze!

I await the public statements relieving this honorable Rabbinical Court and removing the slander and filth you reported upon them. Clean up the mud you have slung at innocent, honorable and just men of faith, of Jewish faith and of honored position among the Jewish people. For a change, when Jewish Rabbinical Leaders are the ones mired by your print, even if solely your electronic print, then honor them with a retraction placed where those seeking this article will be greeted by a truthful recant and not an error code that leaves them still wondering the validity of what you originally told them. Man up!

Beyond the Cusp

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