Soon the Jewish community around the world will be fasting and withholding any forms of pleasure, entertainment or happiness to commemorate the day of Tisha B’Av. It was on this day at 70 ACE (After the Common Era) when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple of the Jews and forced them into an exile lasting just under two millenniums. Within the Jewish community there is a debate of whether the formation of the current political state of Israel constitutes our return from exile. However, most religious Jews would argue that only with the coming of the Messiah will the Jewish people truly return from our long waited exile. When I put on Tefillin, the last prayer I cite is for the coming of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Temple. For Rwandans, they might be unaware of this commemoration as it is not found within Christian beliefs. However, the history behind the day is similar to some of Rwanda’s own history. I am talking specifically about the conflict amongst Jews, which some Rabbis comment was the true reason for the destruction of the Second Temple.
Years ago, I remember a Drash performed by a member of a minyan (I have previously discussed here: Add the Link) named Gene who discussed what caused the destruction of the Temple. Within history, the Temple’s destruction came during the Seize of Jerusalem with fighting between Jewish resistance fighters against the Roman soldiers. Such as found in typical warfare, the losers of the conflict often experience the destruction of what they consider important. However, the destruction of the Temple is not typical as it contains metaphysical elements seen even by the Romans. The Roman, Titus Flavius Josephus writes on how Emperor Titus did not origin...
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... since 2008 greatly differs from their conclusions. There is a strong desire by most Rwandans to reach an ethnic-free and united Rwanda.
Rwanda’s attempts for ethnic unification might be something the Jewish community should look towards Rwanda to help foster some unity amongst ourselves. The current hatred shown during confrontations at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall illustrates a need for help to unify all Jews. While we might disagree on some issues, none of them should be so great that they create hatred. Rwanda’s attempt to eliminate ethnic divisions might not be seen as perfect by some outsiders, but it is nevertheless something that Jews should at least examine. Maybe we can learn something to foster unity, which could possibly lead to the coming of the Messiah and the reconstruction of the Temple so we never have to commemorate Tisha B’Av again.
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