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Tisha B'av

So what is “baseless” hate when we can always find justification for our hate?


In 2015, before the Ninth of Av, four spiritual leaders representing different ideologies and movements in Judaism, were invited to teach about the meaning of the day at the President’s Residency. Below is a translation of the lesson taught by the Masorti representative, Rabbi Chaya Rowen Baker of Kehilat Ramot Zion, in French Hill, Jerusalem. The speech received accolades across the Israeli ideological spectrum, and its message was even quoted by the Education Minister, Naftali Bennett. 


In the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Yoma 9b, we are told: “Why was the First Temple destroyed? For three reasons: idolatry, incest and bloodshed. But, the Second Temple, in which they studied Torah, kept mitzvoth and gave to charity – why was that destroyed? Because there was “baseless” hatred- שנאת חנם. This teaches that “baseless” hatred is as bad as three sins together: idolatry, incest, and bloodshed”.This source does not try to teach us why the first temple was destroyed, nor why the second temple was destroyed, but rather it seems to teach us about “baseless” hatred.The three sins of the First Temple take place in three circles.

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The Masorti Movement is committed to a pluralistic, egalitarian, and democratic vision of Zionism. Masorti represents a “third” way. Not secular Judaism. Not ultra-Orthodoxy. But a Jewish life that integrates secular beliefs. Halakhah with inclusion and egalitarianism. Tradition that recognizes the realities of today’s world. Masorti engages tens of thousands of Israelis each year, young and old, native born as well as olim from around the globe.
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