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Parshat Devarim

Dear STOCS Friend:

Without mincing words, the Gemara in Yerushalmi states:

כל דור שאינו נבנה בימיו מעלין עליו כאילו הוא החריבו

Any generation in which [the Temple] was not rebuilt in their days, they consider it upon them as if they destroyed it!

Very strong words indeed. A generation that fails to realize the building of the Third Temple is tantamount to destroying it! What exactly are rabbis of the Talmudic era teaching us?

I believe the answer may be found in whether a generation is willing to learn the lessons and mistakes of the past. Disagreement, when part of pleasant and civil discourse is quite healthy and can lead to greater understanding or empathy. However, when a person feels not only is his/her argument correct but there can be no other opinion, this leads to strife and deep disdain and ultimately hatred.

Additionally, many take disagreement with one’s actions as a personal attack. Just recently I wrote an article, and it was read by someone from out of town who disagreed vehemently with what I had written. Our exchange via email was polite and enlightening. I thanked him for his opinion. His critique caused me to realize my article could have and should have been clearer in its message. I am thankful for the input from this person.

Lastly, is appreciation of the greatest gift the Jewish People have received over the past 75 years. The return of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. It pains me greatly some people find Israel inhospitable for a variety of reasons. Whether it be bureaucracy, politics, weather, affordable housing etc.

Israel is not a sweater we may have received from a distant relative for our thirteenth birthday. It is the land given by Hashem to His chosen Nation! For centuries Jews felt living in Israel was a distant dream, so it was not a reality in their lives. Today Eretz Yisroel is a reality yet grossly under appreciated.

This Tisha B’av let us change the narrative, let us keep enmity, hatred, hostility and acrimony out of our discourse and emotions. Secondly, look at Israel as our very life. Rabbi Shalom Gold ztl once wrote: "There are many unexpected regards that come with embracing Eretz Yisroel. First and foremost is the age-old powerful Ahavat Eretz Yisroel (love of the land of Israel) that sustained the Jewish people through 2,000 years of exile. You become one with Patriarchs, the Prophets, and Jews of all generations."

This year transform Tisha B’Av from a day of mourning into a day of joy and happiness as we team together to rebuild the Third Holy Temple.

Join us this Shabbas in shul. The Kiddush will be an Ice Cream Delight in honor of the STOCS Kids.

Have a good Shabbas!

Rabbi Evan Shore


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