Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's Tisha B'av today. All is quiet outside, with the exception of a few cars. David will be at shul most of the morning, sitting on the floor and reciting kinnos. I'm sitting on my kitchen stool, getting a neck ache from trying to reach my keyboard. Also hoping to get a ride this afternoon to a shul in Beit Shemesh to hear an expelle from Gadid in Gush Katif and see a film about it. There are other speakers at the matnas (community center) here in Ramt Beit Shemesh this morning, but I'm not walking in the heat to get there. Today is a fast day, for those of you who don't know.
I didn't need any help crying this morning. Olmert said yesterday that after this war is over, he'll be kicking out the rest of the Jews from settlements and giving it right over to the Palestinians! After all this country is going through - thousands of people having to flee for their lives, living without their jobs and their belongings and depending on the goodwill of others - he talks about giving MORE land back to our enemies who want to destroy us?! It doesn't make any sense whatsoever! Now they'll just be closer when they shot their bombs and missiles! What are our boys fighting for? If you don't already read Naomi Ragen's articles about the matsav (situation) here in Israel, please go to her website: She tells it like it is from the point of view of people who live in the north, who have lost children, who care about Israel. If you need a good cry today, her articles will help you get there.
It's so calm here, so quiet and beautiful. And yet, just a few miles away people are shooting at each other with missiles and bombs and rifles. We're always fighting for our survival. For those of you who don't understand what Tisha B'av is, it's a day when we mourn for the destruction of our Temples. Many terrible things have hapened on this day in history, but what we mourn for the most is baseless hatred among Jews. Yes, among ourselves. We put up divisions between us ("you're not religious enough," "you're too religious," "you're not learning in the right yeshiva," "you drive on Shabbat," your kipah isn't the right color," ad nauseum. This is the day we stop looking for the differences and start looking for the similarities. This is the time that we stick together and learn to love one another and help each other and accept each other for who we are, and maybe we can all, by just trying to improve ourselves in little ways, bring Moshiach one step closer.
The rabbaim (rabbis) are asking that everyone take on one extra mitzvah that you'll do until the war is over, or until Yom Kippur. Just one small thing to do everyday - maybe read an extra psalm, say the Shema before you go to bed, smile at someone you have a hard time liking, whatever. If every single person does something, can you imagine the power behind it?


Morah Shifra said...

Vickie, you write so beautifully. It is a pleasure to read even unpleasant things from you. (that was a compliment in case you couldn't tell!)

Vickie said...

Thank you, Morah Shifra - I think! I'm going through mah jongg withdrawal! I told David he had to play mahj with me over Shabbos. I'd rather have you and Lynda and Barb...