Monday, July 16, 2007

Parshat Devarim: Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22

Why do we cry? from Yonoson Blumenthal

On Tisha B'av we commemorate and memorialize the sum total of all tragedies that befell the Jewish people since the formation of the Jewish nation.

The Holocaust survivors who read the following insight will nod their heads in agreement, sigh, and shed a tear. How are we different from those who came from "the old country"? Is it that we have advanced in technology, in affluence, in medicine? Yes, we have reached and continue to aspire to levels of achievement in all walks of life never dreamed of even twenty years ago. But, are we better?

The Jew of Europe, Asia, and Africa throughout the ages was tortured, crushed, decimated, and beaten to a pulp, yet his inner fire never was extinguished. His simple faith and trust in Hashem, dedication to morals and values, nurturing of family life with parents, grandparents, spouses, children, and grandchildren, blossomed under the most trying of situations in the most volatile environments.

Today, we have the security. We have the comfort. But where have our advances brought us?

For this irreplaceable loss - from profundity, depth, self sacrifice, and unity, to spiritual and moral bankruptcy, we cry. Let us return and beseech Hashem with the closing words of the Scroll of Eicha which we read on Tisha B'Av this coming Thursday: "Prompt us to return and we will return; renew our days as of old." May we see the full redemption of the entire world speedily in our days. Let us all contemplate this thought on Tisha B'av and see how we can implement a change for the better.

Tisha B'Av will occur sunset July 23, 2007 - nightfall July 24, 2007.

The star above is part of the Holocaust Memorial Wall at Beth Meir Synagogue in Raleigh North Carolina. It is made from brass which has been pierced and welded It is 34" tall and its width is 29". The inscription reads REMEMBER. Moshe Zabari is an Israeli artist who has been creating for about 70 years.

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