Rosh Chodesh Av 5770
Tonight marks the beginning of the month of Av and our mourning for the destruction of the temple goes into high gear. This time of year we mark anniversaries which remind us of many tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people over the millennia. The root of the tragedy is in the story of 12 men sent by Moses to report on the conditions in the promised land. recounted in Bamidbar (Numbers) 13. Ten of them disparaged the land and reported that it would be difficult to conquer. Only Joshua and Calev went against the majority and tried to convince the people to believe in their strength and G-d's promise. But the people cried bitterly and despaired. Because they despaired and cried when it was not necessary (because G-d would have been with them and helped them conquer the land had they reported positively) they had to wait 40 years to enter the land. But also G-d said because they cried for no reason on that 9th of Av, I will give them good reason to cry on the 9th of Av throughout the generations. So it was on that date that first and second temples were destroyed. The mishna also mentions other tragedies such as the death of Bar Kochba and the fall of the city of Beitar. Over the years other things that happened around this date were decrees associated with the inquisition, the beginning of World War I and major actions in the Warsaw ghetto. In 2005 Arik Sharon originally intended to begin the evacuation and destruction of Gush Katif on that day. (Of course they weren't looking at the Jewish calendar when they picked the day and when they realized the significance they moved the date a few days off. Who did they think they were fooling?)
Five years later...
Leaving Gaza did bring us any closer to peace with the "Palestinians" not in Gaza or anywhere else.
Leaving Gaza did not prevent the Hamas from taking over Gaza.
Leaving Gaza did not prevent the shelling of the Western Negev and the cities of Sderot, Netivot, and Ashkelon.
Leaving Gaza did not make it safer for our soldiers anywhere.
Leaving Gaza did not prevent the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
Leaving Gaza did not prevent another war (Cast Lead).
Five years later the former residents of Gush Katif are still trying to recover from the trauma. Slowly they are rebuilding their lives and founding new settlements.
Some people say that the struggle against the evil decree failed because not enough Israeli citizens were against it. If that is so, we have only proven that when we don't show our faith we end up repeatedly crying.
Thursday, 15 July, from 19:30-21:15, at the OU Center, Jerusalem.
(22 Keren Hayesod Street):
A program especially created for English speakers will take place next week, Thursday, 15 July, from 19:30-21:15, at the OU Center, Jerusalem. It will feature speakers Dror Vanunu, International Coordinator of the Gush Katif Fund and Rachel Saperstein, Director of Operation Dignity. An exclusive film produced by the Gush Katif Committee will be shown. This is one of 70 such events taking place across the country.
For more about marking the anniversary go here.