GATEWAYS TO TORAT HAYIM

 
CONNECTING TO JEWISH LIVING WISDOM RESOURCES

 

The Roots of Trauma

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by Jacobson, Rabbi Simon

“We [are currently in] the saddest period in the year called ‘The Three Weeks’ – Tammuz 17-Av 9 – commemorating the destruction of both Holy Temples in Jerusalem…Thousands of years have passed. Why would we still be mourning the destruction of a… building?! True, it was a holy edifice, the holiest on Earth. But it was still a structure of stone. What did this building carry that would cause millions of people to continue grieving over its loss, and praying for its restoration?

 

The answer is that the Temple wasn’t a mere structure of bricks and mortar. It was a window – a literal gate – between heaven and earth. ‘Build Me a Sanctuary,’ G‑d says, ‘and I will dwell among you.’

Many terrible tragedies have befallen people throughout history. Many important events to commemorate. However, by remembering and mourning the destruction of the Temples, we get to the root of all our troubles.

 

That root being: The dichotomy between our inner spirits and our outer lives. The Temple was a gate that bridged the two. Its destruction reflected – and exposed – the duality of our lives.

Should we ignore the destruction of the Temple and continue to live our lives oblivious of the destruction, we then would be forced to always suffer its symptoms, never getting to the cause. By acknowledging the root of the problems – and acknowledging it in real action: in this time period of ‘The Three Weeks’ we are forbidden to …do anything that brings excessive joy – we make our first step toward complete healing.”