Tisha B’Av

Our Sages teach that Moshiach was born on Tisha B’Av. One of the explanations of this statement is that from the moment of the destruction of the Holy Temple there was the real potential for the coming of Moshiach, the end of the exile and the ultimate Redemption.

Additionally, our Sages were expressing the idea that, just as on a person’s birthday the particular spiritual source of that person’s soul is more powerful, similarly on Tisha B’Av Moshiach’s soul powers and the potential for the Redemption are much stronger.

The First Holy Temple was destroyed because of heinous transgressions committed by the Jews, including idol worship and murder. The reason for the destruction of the Second Holy Temple was because of the senseless and baseless hatred one Jew had towards another. Jewish tradition explains that this teaches us that baseless hatred is equal to idol worship and bloodshed.

Since we are still in exile, although we await every moment the imminent arrival of Moshiach, we would do well to try and “fix” the transgression for which the Second Holy Temple was destroyed.

This can be accomplished through “baseless” love of a fellow Jew. In practical terms, it means being good, kind, and nice to another person – “just because.” Try smiling at someone and see how his face lights up. Hold the elevator, even if you’re in a rush. Are those extra 5 seconds you’re “wasting” really going to make or break your day? Think or say something positive about another person. Call an elderly relative to ask her how she’s doing. Say yes the next time someone asks you to do him a favour.

Make a point of trying to practice “baseless” love on Tisha B’Av, the day on which the spiritual energy to bring the ultimate Redemption is even stronger.

And remember that simple acts of goodness and kindness can and will undo the damage done by baseless hatred and ultimately hasten the Redemption.