The 9th of Av

Good morning, Bishop!

This week in synagogue, Jews start reading Deuteronomy and the beginning of Isaiah.

We meet during the three weeks of mourning for Jerusalem, which began on the 17th of the Jewish month of Tammuz (July 23) – when the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed –, and goes until the 9th of the Jewish month of Av, which is equivalent to August 13th in our calendar.

On this date, both Temples were destroyed (of Solomon and Herod). They were destroyed on the same day, with an interval of 657 years. The first was destroyed in 587 BC and the second in 70 B.C. On this date, Jews fast for 24 hours. They remain without eating or drinking anything.

The wise elders teach that this tragic period originated from the wrongful conduct of the Jewish people, who strayed from the path of good, expressing unrestricted hatred.

Every Shabbat during this period, we read a different passage of the prophets that deals with the rebuke given to our people.
On the first Shabbat, the book of Jeremiah (1.1 – 2.3): “The words of Jeremiah…”; on the second, the continuation (2.4 – 3.4): “Hear the word of the Lord…”; and this week, Isaiah (1.1 – 27): “The vision of Isaiah…”.

From the readings of these prophets during this sad period, we can learn an important lesson: correct these three senses – what we say, what we hear and what we see.

First, we should not speak well or ill of anyone. Second, we should not listen to what does not correspond to us and avoid listening to unpleasant things from others, even if it may catch our attention at times. And the third and main, we should not look at undue things, but we should make it a point to look at everything in a positive light, in a pleasant way, seeing only virtues and blessings.

Kind regards,

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