“The Children Are Ready to Burn Down The Temple”

9 AV

Hanging out at the Western Wall for Tisha B’Av I could not help feel that those out mourning the destruction of Bayit Rishon and Bayit Sheni (the First and Second Temples) are going to be the ones whose acts will cause the destruction of Bayit Shlishi (the State of Israel). In this short clip by the Temple Institute in Israel, the adults sit on the floor and the rabbi cries, and everything is dark and everything is sad inside the synagogue, while the children pick themselves up from their games. Organized around a bright young leader, it’s they who compel the movement of a people out into the bright daylight to rebuild its  Temple. The mood of this cloying little clip is both fascist and sentimental. And that to me is the meaning of Tisha B’Av today, it’s power to anticipate a possible future marked by catastrophe.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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