It’s amazing – shocking really – to think about everything that happened on the saddest of days, Tisha b’Av. Before we entered the Holy Land, we sent twelve spies, one from every tribe. Ten spies came back and they said “it is a terrible country: It’s beautiful, but we can’t take it.” Only two spies, Yehoshua from the tribe of Yosef and Caleb from the tribe of Yehudah, said “Ah, if G-d wants to give it to us, it’s our land.”
The night they came back was Tisha b’Av and the people started crying.
That was the beginning, but the sadness didn’t end there. Twice, the Holy Temple was destroyed on this day, the Inquisition was decreed on Tisha b’Av, the first World War began on Tisha b’Av, in the Second World War, the first time Germany declared war and sent a message to Poland to surrender was on Tisha b’Av. It’s unbelievable. It’s still in the air.
But for us, Tisha b’Av will always be about the Holy Temple.
At the time of its destruction, the blood ran from Jerusalem all the way down to the Jordan river. We don’t know exactly how many people were living in Jerusalem at that time, but they killed many many thousands….some say millions…we have no idea.
It all traces back to the spies. Everything started then. So why did it start? It’s all because ten people said something bad.
If you walk down the street, you’ll notice many, many people – let’s say half the world – that their light is destroyed. Sadly, most people are only the shadows of their own soul. A shadow of what they were, and what they could have been.
If you start investigating, going back to the roots of their lives of their history, most probably you will find out that at one time or another, one person said something bad. That’s how it started. ~ R’ Shlomo Carlebach zt”l