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Rethinking Tisha B’Av

Published in Times of Israel by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on August 7, 2019

When I heard her compliment, I said to myself, incredulously: “Me?! If she really knew me, she wouldn’t have said that.”

And just like that -I became a grasshopper.

According to the midrash, the spies returned from checking out the Land of Israel on the 9th of Av. Standing in front of the nation, they argued against entering the land because “we are like grasshoppers in their eyes” -in the eyes of the giants who inhabited the land at the time.

So began the tragic karma of the ninth of Av, and so begin many tragedies. We become grasshoppers. We believe that we are small, insignificant, powerless, and meaningless.

Tisha b’Av is not a day in the Jewish calendar.

Tisha b’Av is not a moment in Jewish history.

Tisha b’Av is an outlook on life. I am really not that special. I am really not worth that much. I am not as good as people think. I am a grasshopper. 

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