25:10 - 30:1 Haftarah:
July 22, 2000 - 18 Tamuz 5760
The Chicago Torah Network
SAID TO MOSES: GO UP TO THIS MOUNTAIN, AND SEE THE LAND... YOU
WILL SEE IT, BUT YOU WILL DIE HERE (27:12-13)."
did not enter the Land of Israel. He
could only see it from a distance. It was the story of the
Jewish People. For two thousand years. Scattered. Unable to
get to the Land. But never losing sight of it.
Year 70. The Roman army drove us out of the Land. But it was
always in our hearts. Our minds. Our
of our prayers. Three times a day. Seven days a week. In each
prayer? “May our eyes behold Your return to Zion." And
in the Grace after meals: “Rebuild the holy city of
Jerusalem soon, in our days.”
been saying these things every day. At every meal. And every
time we prayed. For two thousand years.
about how one day a year--the ninth of the Hebrew month of
Av--we sat on the floor. And mourned the destruction. Of the
Jerusalem we never saw. But never forgot.
baby boys were circumcised. And one of the prayers at the Bris?
“May this child merit to be in Jerusalem.”
child grew up. And
got married. And
at the wedding ceremony a glass was broken. To remember the
destruction of Jerusalem.
when there was a death in the family. And we sat shiva. The
traditional Jewish consolation?
you be comforted among the mourners of Jerusalem.”
is an eternal bond between the Jewish people and Jerusalem.
That can never be broken.
July 20, marked a traditional Jewish fast day, the 17th
of Tamuz, when Roman troops broke through the walls of
Jerusalem. This day begins a three-week period of
semi-mourning, including the practice of not shaving.
1947 a prominent rabbi, along with a group of Jewish
activists, was granted a meeting with New York City’s mayor,
Fiorello LaGuardia. They were seeking his support for the
establishment of the State of Israel.
they realized that they had a problem. The meeting was
scheduled for the week before Tisha B’Av, when they
wouldn’t normally shave.
debated what to do. “Considering the importance of this
meeting, we certainly would be permitted to shave,” they
said. “After all, we can’t meet with the mayor looking
unkempt. Especially if we want his help.”
the other hand--how can we not mourn for Jerusalem?”
decided to go without shaving, and to explain. They began the
meeting with an apology.
“Please forgive our appearance--but we are in
mayor asked what happened.
are mourning the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place in
mayor said he finally understood something.
two thousand years you expect to go back to your Land? But now
I understand. If you can mourn for two thousand years--you can
expect to go back,” the story goes.
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