Its another Thursday and yet another read of Perth’s Jewish rag.Â More of the same every week from the Did You Know? column full of a collection of non-conforming ideas masked as Jewish history.Â Â
The Maccabean loses all of its credibility by persisting to take treasured Jewish concepts and ripping theÂ significance and beauty from them.Â Â The author of this column seems to be on someÂ nit-picking crusade to discredit Jewish traditions and beliefs to satisfy the position that Judaism is only relevant if it is reformed and humanistic.Â That is a shame, because these sameÂ sybmolic ideas and topicsÂ could be presented withÂ compassion and meaning instead of disdain and a dry cynical dismissive tone.Â Judaism is very diverse, it has a rich and powerful history that deserves to be treated with far more respect than it gets dealt by this column.Â
So lets look at some of theÂ historical facts that have been invented this week.Â I have assisted by clarifying the somewhat unclear positions that are trying to be communicated:
1)Â The second temple was actually the third Temple
2) Construction of the second (or should that be third?)Â Temple was never completed
3) The word Kinnot has its origin after “the book and the church”
4) The book of Eichah is actually five different poems with different styles and themes that don’t relate to each other.
5) The Jewish tradition that holds Yirmiyahu as the author of Eichah is unlikley as we far prefer the theory of multiple authors and the geographic place of origin as Babylonia.
6)Â The “some” of us that think the destruction of the Temple is one of the greatest tragedies to befall the Jewish people are at the extreme end of a spectrum of beliefs.
7)Â The temple is not relevant because abstract structures of human intellect are preferable to physical structures of marble and cedar.
So what is wrong with all of this?Â Are the viewsÂ valid?Â Well, as it was said a few weeksÂ back, people are welcome toÂ write, read and believe what they like.Â But the message and historic significance of Tisha B’av is very deep and rich, and to reduceÂ it to a selection of debateableÂ historic points do not do justice to the traditional Jewish understanding and observances of the day.Â Further to this, the ideas expressed areÂ far fromÂ the mainstream Jewish viewÂ that wouldÂ normally be presented by aÂ mainstream Jewish paper.
Many people have protested the continualÂ misrepresentation of Jewish history by the Maccabean.Â It’s not hard to see why.