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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pray for Peace - Prepare for War

Life in Israel isn't peaceful and carefree. The mood, on the street, is worry and sadness. While we are strong and have faith in our strength, the constant threat of rocket fire, air raid sirens going off at any moment, and the loss of precious human life is in the air. Today is the 9th of Av. This very date, on the Hebrew calender, Tisha b'Av, marks a list of catastrophes so horrific, for the Jewish People, it's clearly a day that is cursed by God.

It all began when the Jewish People were wandering in the desert. We had just left Egypt and experienced the miracles of the Exodus. We were just about to enter the Holy Land, Israel, however on the 9th of Av, we cried that we wanted to go back to being slaves in Egypt because our own spies reported that Israel was uninhabitable. That was back in 1313 BCE. Both the First and Second Temples were destroyed on the same day, the 9th of Av, in 587 BCE and in 70 CE. The Roman massacre of over 100,000 Jews at Betar also occured on the 9th of Av back in 132 CE. The Jewish People were expelled from England on the 9th of Av, 1290 CE, from France in 1306, and from Spain in 1492. The three weeks leading up to 9 B'Av are weeks of mourning and we also commemorate the loss of 6 million Jewish People who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II which, came to be after The Final Solution was approved, during the mourning period of Av, in 1941.

Today, is a National Jewish day of mourning and fasting and prayer.

Today, the People of Israel, the Jewish People, are experiencing a modern day awakening of what our ancestors in the desert, our ancestors in England, France, and Spain, and let's face it, all of Europe, most certainly realized. The world is not a welcoming place for a Jew. What is the difference today? The Jewish State of Israel and the IDF. What's the same? Everything else and God.

I know that there is one place, on the entire earth, where I belong, in a total area of 8,630 square miles, 290 miles in length and about 85 miles across at the widest point. Surrounded  by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, Egypt to the southwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, my only home, so small it could comfortably rest inside of Lake Michigan and is often compared to the state of New Jersey. I'm not here to discuss politics and I leave the judgments up to God. I embrace my smallness, as a grain of sand, on God's vast and wonderful beach. I know of good and I know of evil. I know of love and faith and happiness and.... I know of pain and suffering and sadness. I know of war and I know of peace. I know where I'm wanted and where I'm not. I pray for peace yet I'm prepared for war.

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