The 9th of Av

 



 

I have been living in Israel for more than 30 years (more than half of my life), of course, during this time, the traditions of the people have largely influenced me. Ava 9 in the Gregorian calendar usually falls at the beginning of August. This day is remembered as the day of the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. For those who do not know this story, in Jewish life the Temple, Eretz Yisrael (Israel), the Creator, the Torah - all this goes in the section of the same values. And we know from History that the destruction of the Temple has always been a huge catastrophe for our people. There are many materials on the Internet about this. It is not entirely true that the dispersion of the people was a direct consequence of the fall of the Temple, but for spiritual life, for the “Presence” of God among the people of Israel, this was super significant and destroyed everything built by generations. The place of the Temple is indescribably great, and when it is not there, it is a huge loss and catastrophe.

 

And here we are today. Already 2000 years since the fall of the second Temple. To us, this seems like an abstraction. It is impossible to trust all historical sources, but still there are reliable ones. New Testament, testimonies of some contemporaries. According to the Talmud, he fell because of "sinat chinam" - unreasonable hatred. (The First Temple fell because of the developed idolatry in the Jewish people). Those who know the New Testament will connect this fall with the hatred / non-acceptance of the Messiah Yeshua by the people of Israel. And as one of the facts, “weeping ” Yeshua about the Temple - “you did not see the day of my visitation” (in the context of Jerusalem, but also applies to the Temple). The Acts of the Apostles also speak of the persecution of faith in Yeshua that came from the leaders of the Sadducees, the aristocracy of the Temple. Yet for us this is extremely distant events.

 

But, the Temple ceased to function as a place of sacrifices and whitewashing, cleansing of Israel from sins, a place of purification and intercession for the peoples of the World, the relevance of another Sacrifice was revealed. The sacrifice of the Messiah, according to the book of Hebrews, is more effective and covers all other sacrifices. The Acts of the Apostles says "there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved." The Lord also taught “in any place they will worship the Father” and glorify, unite with the Creator.

 

Other side. Ezekiel's prophecies about the third temple. It is not like the first and second. It is not easy to understand - this is said figuratively, allegorically, or literally, and why this is necessary, if there already exists the Great Sacrifice of God's Lamb. We will understand, perhaps, only when everything is fulfilled. But today, somehow, it is necessary to take into account the prophecy. Whether to prepare for it, or anticipate actions. For faith without works is dead. This is what I wanted to talk about.

 

The state of things today.

Israel (orthodox) fasts on this day and suffers a little. They say that in 1948 the religious community of Israel proposed to cancel the 9th of Av, because Israel was restored. But this proposal did not pass, although now it is being promoted more and more.

On this day, the religious leaders of the country are calling for fasting, abandoning any elements of joy and fun, refraining from marital duties, visiting cinemas, etc. The Orthodox community to this day, even on weekdays, expresses this memory by dressing in black and white, in fact, on the 9th of Ava behaves like on Yom Kippur - sackcloth, slippers, asceticism. The secular ones are simpler with all this, but the influence is still felt.

 

In many Messianic communities, this day is remembered and associated with the promise of the return of the Messiah and the building of God's Temple in the 1000 year kingdom. And many on this day also call their parishioners to “prayer, to fasting, to abstinence.” All this is good and wonderful, especially in ASSOCIATION, IN UNITY with our people, passing with them both joys and sorrows.

But still, what should we, the Messianic ones, do with this day - Av 9, maybe just “by uniting with the people in sorrow” we make a mistake, or is it, on the contrary, something right?!

It is important, I think, not to do actions of a spiritual nature “automatically”, but by making a choice and doing a certain act of FAITH, give spiritual fulfillment. Otherwise we become "neither your, nor our". It is necessary to decide how to act according to faith, build a concept, build a clear approach.

 

I think everyone will decide for themselves, but it would be better for the leaders of the Messianic to decide and build a common attitude. A few more additional thoughts.

It is clear that each of us is the Temple of God's Spirit. This is what the New Testament teaches us, and a number of followers of different currents of Judaism will agree with this. But we are mini TEMPLE. This is worth considering.

The greatness of that Temple in Jerusalem is not only “nominal worship.” The Lord promised in Exodus “build me a sanctuary and I will dwell in the midst of ALL THE PEOPLE”… The fact that we “have ... try to have a place in ourselves for the Lord” makes us some carriers, distributors of “the fragrance of the Messiah.” Still, I repeat - this is a small, minor influence.

Faith in Yeshua should fill our hearts with joy, not sorrow. Just as support came to the disciples, exhausted, before the crucified Lord. He resurrected and everything was different. A similar attitude towards the 9th of Av - the Temple has long been destroyed, and we are closer to the Return of Yeshua, He will bring down the Temple from heaven. “And I, John, saw the holy city of Jerusalem, new, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2"

 

In prayer for clarity, for an approach of faith and not of religious obligation. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will also do; and greater than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12)

These words can motivate believers to Seek.

Sincerely,

Leon Mazin

 


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