By Rabbi Raphael Leban
Sometimes you pick up a big life lesson from a totally unexpected place.
Last week, Jews around the world were mourning the loss of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed not once, but twice, on the 9th of the Jewish month of Av. Our Sages of the Talmud teach us to focus on the root causes of these great spiritual tragedies, most notably the deplorable state of disharmony and disunity that permeated the Jewish People at that time.
The historian Josephus, who lived at the time, reported that general Titus of Rome, who destroyed Jerusalem in the first century C.E. and burned the Temple to the ground, said that he found such enmity among the Jews of Jerusalem, that had he just left them alone they would have brought the city down upon themselves.
And despite all our efforts to the contrary, the current state of affairs in the Jewish world today doesn’t seem so much improved.
In the midst of all this, last week we ran an online crowd-funding campaign. What happened was far beyond our most optimistic expectations. in 24 hours, almost 250 generous Jews from around the world contributed over $150,000.
From $2 to $25,000, and everywhere in between, Jews gave. They came together to show us, that with unity, incredible things happen. This was a lots-of-Jews-all-together-accomplish-amazing-things campaign.
And it taught us that underneath the occasional difference of opinion, behind the unfortunate inter-personal conflicts, we are all one. And we are ready to jump onboard together to make great things happen.
May this lesson go far beyond the realm of the dollar, and pervade our homes, our shuls, our communities and streams of Jewish affiliation and identification, to bring us swiftly to the time of ultimate unity and brotherly love that the Jewish People are totally capable of. Amein.