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A Tearless Tisha B’Av

Western wall Jerusalem, Praying for unity and peace
Photograph by Yosi Zamir, Shatil Stock

My reservoir of tears has been depleted over the years, throughout the course of my life. There are very few tears left in it, and now I am mindful of every tear.

During this Tisha B’Av, perhaps I will think of a simple and decent Jew living in the days of the First or Second Temple, witnessing its destruction. I imagine him in my mind’s eye as he sits there, weeping. I may find, in the corner of my eye, a compassionate, empathic tear.

But I have no tears to spare.

I shed no tears as I watch a delusional, violent, wicked Jew, who dreams of destroying the Dome of the Rock. He is not my brother, not even a distant relative.

I shed no tears as I watch a seemingly innocent Jew who dedicates his life to nurturing the hideous dream of a holy slaughterhouse. Maimonides had already erased any interest I had in this repugnant dream, when he explained how the futile idea of victimhood was born.

I shed no tears as I watch a racist Jew who has no respect for any person who isn’t Jewish, nor for any Jew who isn’t like him, and now he lies down on the floor in an empty display of mourning, his mouth filled

with words of lament that he can barely understand, while he continues to vilify and revile me and those who are like me. I shed no tears at the sight of a Jew who throughout the year never ceases to spread words of hatred and slander against so many of us and today, on Tisha B’Av, supposedly in mourning, his soiled mouth fills with empty words about “baseless hatred”, pretending we are brothers.

I have no racist brothers whose lives are filled with hatred towards strangers and overflow with persecution of the different. They should not call me “brother”, nor should they chant their fake slogan in my ears, “we are all brothers”. I detest them, I despise their world, I do not want to live amongst them.

I only have four words to say to them: “Get away from me!”


Asa Kasher is a Prof Emeritus of Professional Ethics and Philosophy, Tel Aviv University

Editor in Chief, Hebrew Enc., 2nd ed.

Contributed by Prof. Asa Kasher to USA for Israeli Democracy

Translated from Hebrew by: Niva Kaspi


April 28, 2024

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