According to the Talmud, Jerusalem was destroyed because of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza. The Talmudic tale tells of two men whose mutual hatred sowed the seeds of the destruction of the Temple. On Tisha B’Av, Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue, located in Washington, D.C., hosted a three-part tikkun (fixing) ceremony. There was a text study of the Kamtza/Bar Kamtza story, an introspective session during which participants did a role-playing exercise to understand the differing perspectives of the people in the story (the host, Bar Kamtza, and the rabbis), and a creative reflection project.
Rena Fruchter led the creation of a window, which will be displayed throughout the year to remind people about the lessons from the story. After the reading of Eicha (the Book of Lamentations), Fruchter led congregants in breaking several sheets of glass, symbolizing the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. Those shards of glass were used to create the reflective window, a physical symbol of the spiritual tikkun.
By Malka Goldberg