Rabbi David Shamsi – Parashat Tzav-Shabbat HaGadol 5777

Don’t Pass Over Tisha B’Av

It is an interesting phenomena that Pesach and the following first day of Tisha B’Av always fall on the same day of the week. In fact, the Rema in the Shulchan Aruch says that some have the custom to dip an egg in salt water on the Seder night to express some level of mourning for the Beit HaMidash, as we do on Tisha B’Av. What is the thematic connection between Tisha B’Av and Pesach?

Perhaps the link is as follows: The Talmud tells us that the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed due to baseless hatred. If so, the ultimate remedy is “baseless” love and unity. The defining Mitzvah of Pesach in the times of the Beit MaMikdash was not eating Matzah but the slaughtering and eating of the Pesach Offering. The unique quality of the Pesach Offering was that, unlike all other offerings, it had to be eaten as part of a group. In fact, since the entire animal had to be eaten before midnight, it would have been impossible for an individual to eat it alone (-with the possible exception of the skinny Asian guy who keeps winning all the hot-dog eating contests.) Thus we see that the defining characteristic of the central mitzvah of Pesach is unity – the remedy for Tisha B’Av.

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