Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tisha B'Av and The Battling Forces

I must admit that while reading the Tisha B'Av Kinot at home I dozed off.  I felt the good and evil battling away.  The proscribed readings, Eicha and Kinot, for this day of national mourning for the end of our ancient Jewish Kingdoms in the Land of Israel are very depressing and much too close to home.
Lamentations Chapter 2 אֵיכָה
ז  זָנַח אֲדֹנָי מִזְבְּחוֹ, נִאֵר מִקְדָּשׁוֹ--הִסְגִּיר בְּיַד-אוֹיֵב, חוֹמֹת אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ; קוֹל נָתְנוּ בְּבֵית-יְהוָה, כְּיוֹם מוֹעֵד.  {ס} 7 The Lord hath cast off His altar, He hath abhorred His sanctuary, He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn assembly. {S}
ח  חָשַׁב יְהוָה לְהַשְׁחִית, חוֹמַת בַּת-צִיּוֹן--נָטָה קָו, לֹא-הֵשִׁיב יָדוֹ מִבַּלֵּעַ; וַיַּאֲבֶל-חֵל וְחוֹמָה, יַחְדָּו אֻמְלָלוּ.  {ס} 8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He hath stretched out the line, He hath not withdrawn His hand from destroying; but He hath made the rampart and wall to mourn, they languish together. {S}
ט  טָבְעוּ בָאָרֶץ שְׁעָרֶיהָ, אִבַּד וְשִׁבַּר בְּרִיחֶיהָ; מַלְכָּהּ וְשָׂרֶיהָ בַגּוֹיִם, אֵין תּוֹרָה--גַּם-נְבִיאֶיהָ, לֹא-מָצְאוּ חָזוֹן מֵיְהוָה.  {ס} 9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars; her king and her princes are among the nations, instruction is no more; yea, her prophets find no vision from the LORD. {S}
י  יֵשְׁבוּ לָאָרֶץ יִדְּמוּ, זִקְנֵי בַת-צִיּוֹן--הֶעֱלוּ עָפָר עַל-רֹאשָׁם, חָגְרוּ שַׂקִּים; הוֹרִידוּ לָאָרֶץ רֹאשָׁן, בְּתוּלֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם.  {ס} 10 They sit upon the ground, and keep silence, the elders of the daughter of Zion; they have cast up dust upon their heads, they have girded themselves with sackcloth; the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. {S}
יא  כָּלוּ בַדְּמָעוֹת עֵינַי, חֳמַרְמְרוּ מֵעַי--נִשְׁפַּךְ לָאָרֶץ כְּבֵדִי, עַל-שֶׁבֶר בַּת-עַמִּי:  בֵּעָטֵף עוֹלֵל וְיוֹנֵק, בִּרְחֹבוֹת קִרְיָה.  {ס} 11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, mine inwards burn, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the breach of the daughter of my people; because the young children and the sucklings swoon in the broad places of the city. {S}
I suggest listening to Shani Taragin's shiur Eicha, Sounds of Music.

The Jewish People, the same one that exists today, is a very ancient people. None of our long-ago national or cultural peers still exist.  Historians and theologians have written our obituary many times.  At least two other religions were invented to replace us, Christianity and Islam, and they are fighting us for our Land.  The Arabs, their international backers and even some Israelis are pushing for a so-called Palestinian State, G-d forbid, and the Vatican is making deals with the Israeli Government to take over our holy sites, like Mount Zion.
YERUSHALAYIM - Israel has secretly informed the pope and senior Vatican officials that it is ready to reach a deal according to which it will transfer sovereignty of Kever David on Har Tzion to the Vatican, along with six Christian sites around the country. In exchange, Israel will receive permission to nationalize land that is under Christian control on the shores of the Kinneret.
After heavy Christian pressure, which has been applied for the past 60 years, the government is caving in now, specifically under Prime Minister Netanyahu, and is deciding to approve agreements drafted by former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon. He conducted ongoing secret negotiations with  the church, along with Bahij Mansour, the head of religion in the Diaspora division of the Foreign Ministry.
The forces of good and evil, Jewish rights/religion versus western secular are fighting.  In some ways it's subtle and in other ways it gets physically nasty. The Arabs generally are up front and honest about it.  They go for the physical kill, with rocks, rifles, bombs and rocket attacks.

Some of the victims of Arab terrorism: Top Left to Right: Koby Mandell, Yehuda Haim Shoham, Esther Ohana  Center: Yosef Ishran  Bottom Left to Right: Bachor Jean, Asher Palmer and his infant son Jonathan, Stf. Sgt. Benny Meisner
It's easy to read their lips. Other enemies are more subtle. Many claim friendship and love for us, but their advice will only cause our destruction. There are also our internal enemies, Jews, Israelis who frequently speak in the terminology of our sages, but with the wrong agenda.  They are like the false prophets of Biblical times. 

I've been studying the Bible for the past few years in Matan.  I'm in the six year program Al HaPerek, in which Na"Ch, Prophets and Writings have been divided up.  We study two chapters a week, and we are now studying Yechezkel, having already finished Joshua, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Today's politics in the State of Israel and modern Jewish History seems so similar to Biblical Times and I find that frightening.   We Jewish People are again battling.  Will G-d decide that we must be dispersed again, or will we progress to the building of the Third Holy Temple?  I'd like to say that it's all up to G-d, but I understand that it is really up to us.  G-d created us with free will, and we therefore have the power to bring the Moshiach, Redemption. 

We are not G-d's puppets; we are free-thinking people who must make the right decisions the right moves. G-d will help us if we do so. That's how we were victorious in our early wars against the Arab attackers, the 1948 War for Israeli Independence, the 1967 Six Days War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  Our Salvation and our victories all come from G-d.  The message of Tisha B'Av is that if we pray to false G-ds, if we make deals with foreign leaders, if we give away our precious Land, G-d may very well decide that we're not the right generation for Redemption.  He may let us be destroyed the way He did in the past.

waiting for Redemption
G-d willing we will be strong and do the right things, and G-d will forgive us for our sins. And G-d willing we will defeat those endangering us.  May G-d be merciful.  May we merit the building of the בית המקדשת Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Temple!

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְהוָה אֵלֶיךָ ונשוב [וְנָשׁוּבָה] חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם.
Hashiveinu Hashem vinashu chadesh yameinu kikedem.
Bring us back to You, G-d, and we will return, renew our days as days of old.


Unknown said...

So appropriate for this day of Tish B'Av Batya.

Batya said...

Serach, thanks

Edward F. Villa said...

Beautifully put , Batya.

May God take note of your and all of The Righteous' Prayers and indeed fulfill Our Prayers for The Temple speedily in these our days.

Take care Batya and all of Israel .

I must return home ...

May it be God's kindly courageous Will .

David Shimshon

Anonymous said...

Batya said...

Edward/DS thanks