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Parshat Hashavua
This week, we read the second of the three Haftorot leading up to Tisha B’Av. These
readings are intended to serve as a reminder to Jews—they are meant to tell us why we
were exiled.
Distribute the Haftarah pages (one per camper). Ask the campers to scan the page, and to
come up with the main idea of it; what is the main topic of this week’s Haftarah?
(Jeremiah’s reprimands the sinning Israelites).
Create a discussion using the following questions:
1. What event is coming up on the Jewish calendar?
2. What does it commemorate? (Tisha B’Av marks the date, according
to tradition, when both the first and second temples were destroyed)
3. When were the temples destroyed? Who destroyed them?
(Babylonians, 587 BCE; Romans 70 AD)
4. Why do you think the temples were destroyed? Was it a punishment
from G!d? If the Temple was the best way to serve G!d, why would
he let it be destroyed?
5. Do you think it is important to have days that commemorate national
tragedies? Why or why not? Why do you think that the rabbis
implemented rituals of mourning for the period of time leading up to
Tisha B’av?
Explain that during the 1st temple, there were a group of men known as prophets that
fought to maintain the moral balance within Judaism. Being a prophet meant being a
messenger for G!d, a conduit through which the divine will was revealed. During the
time immediately before the destruction of the First Temple, Jeremiah was the most
active prophet in Israel. His teachings rallied for repentance within Jewish society.