D’varim, Tisha B’Av and Jewish Resilience

or longer than I have been alive, the State of Israel has existed. The borders have changed over the years, but I have never known a world where Israel did not exist. Orthodox liturgies pray for the coming of the Davidic Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the re-establishment of the sacrificial cult. Among non-orthodox Jews, even if our liturgy contains references to “moshiach ben David” the call to rebuild and re-establish ancient sacrificial rites is often deemed as little more than symbolic. So, what does Tisha B’Av mean to post-enlightenment Jews who may not believe in a personal messiah, have never known a world without Israel, who do not see themselves returning to animal sacrifices?

Tisha B’Av and the Nation-State Law

The Nation-State basic law passed by the Knesset this week comes dangerously close to declaring Jewish superiority.  We are grateful to those who lobbied the members of the Knesset, and are relieved by some of the amendments to the original drafts of the law; but we remain concerned that the bill gives special rights to Jews that are not guaranteed to all citizens of the State of Israel.