We are now about a week into the period of the Jewish calendar called the "three weeks". This represents the time between the Hebrew dates of the 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of Av, where many tragedies happened to the Jewish people, including the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem thousands of years ago. We remember this sad time by following mourning practices dictated by halacha (Jewish law), and on the ninth of Av we observe a full day fast (just like on Yom Kippur). These practices help us to remember our past, and urge us to repent for our sins and come closer to G-d.
My son is now on a week long trip to Poland, learning about the rich Jewish history of a Europe that was destroyed during World War II. He is visting the graves of famous righteous Jews - and of course visiting Auschwitz (today, Friday) - the "gravesite" of hundreds of thousands of simple Jews. We sent him on this trip to enrich his understanding of where his family came from (Europe to America before moving to Israel).
And today, like I have done for about a week already - I am writing about our Jewish present. Rockets falling both in the north and in the south of Israel, soldiers risking their lives to protect other Jews, and civilians trying their best to help each other out.
Ancient history, modern history, and the present. The places change, the names of the characters change - but the role of the Jew is the same. To remember our past, to repent our sins, and try to come closer to G-d.
Shabbat Shalom to all - I will G-d willing be back to blogging on Sunday morning (Israel time).