As the fast of the Ninth of Av approaches closer we must ask ourselves, why are we fasting? There are multiple reasons but one, is that both of the Batei Mikdash were destroyed on this day and we need to mourn their destruction and wait for another Beit Hamikdash to be built. The first Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because the Jews committed adultery, worshiped idols and murdered. The second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred toward one another.
Both causes seem completely different. The first one is because we didn’t act correctly to God and the second one is because we didn’t act correctly to each other. These two reasons are what makes a Jew a Jew. It is the realization that we don’t only need to have a connection with God but with our fellow human beings as well. It is both these connections that will bring Mashiach and restore the Beit Hamikdash. When you are fasting, take a moment to pray and get closer to God but also to think about your past year and your relationship with people. Think about how you could better your relationships, even the ones that are hardest for you. Have an easy and meaningful fast this Tisha B’Av!
By Shira Sedek