Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Arab Terror: An Ongoing Tisha B'Av
Published: Thursday, July 2, 2015 04:38:12 PM
Number of views: 2434

The Shin Bet has just informed us that Arab terror attacks are up 50% from last year. The Moslem fast days of Ramadan, which began on June 17, have coincided with a surge of murderous terror attacks against Jews.

The moving Kinah of "ARZEI HALEVANON", which is recited on TIsha B'Av states, "The martyred Jews were filled with good deeds like the seeds of a pomegranate and like the corners of the Temple altar that is stained by the blood of the Korbanot". This poem recalls the martyrdom of the Ten Martyrs at the time of the CHURBAN of the Second Temple and afterwards.

The story of the Ten Martyrs is in fact recited twice a year, also on Yom Kippur, as the Piyut "EILEH EZKERA" among the Teshuva poems following the Seder Haavoda of the Yom Kippur Musaf.

However, Rav Soloveitchik points out that these two recitations about the Ten Martyrs differ in style and vocabulary. The Piyut for Yom Kippur was written in the form of a SELICHA, a forgiveness prayer, while the one for TIsha B'Av was written as a KINAH (a mournful lamentation). This is so Rav Solovetichik explained, because the purpose and objective of each recitation is different.

The Talmud in Moed Katan 28 states, "the death of the righteous serves as an Atonement for Israel like the Korbanot in the Beit Hamikdash". EILEH EZKERAH  is therefore included as part of the Yom Kippur recitation of the Avoda. Tisha B'Av by contrast is not an essential Day of Atonement like Yom Kippur, but a day of Mourning as we lament the CHURBAN and other major catastrophes which have befallen the Jewish People over the Millenia.

The Talmud in Rosh Hashana 18b states that the death of the righteous is equal to the CHURBAN Beit Hamikdash.

Thus, there is a direct correlation between the many victims of Arab terror and the destruction of the Holy Temple, which is the central theme of Tisha B'Av. Moreover, every Jew, murdered by a brutal Arab terrorist, is another CHURBAN.

Let us pray that Moshiach will come before Tisha B'Av thereby turning the Mournful Fast into a Joyous Feast.

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