Tish b’Av 5781

“And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the L-RD’S house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say: ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the L-RD, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the L-RD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

– Isaiah 2:2-4, JPS 1917 Tanach

Shabbos reflection: Drawing Near

As the 17th of Tammuz draws near, the connection seems so relevant to make. In a way, because of the Rafael Fire, burning fifteen miles away, imagining what occurred almost two thousand years ago in Jerusalem on the 17th of Tammuz seems more tangible. That is the day in 70 C.E. when the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem. Fires raged throughout the city; and the Temple was destroyed three weeks later on the 15th of Av.

Rafael Fire, Arizona

Drawing near to G-d seems like the most beneficial endeavor, at this time; and, perhaps, how my concerns about the fire may be channeled into the commemoration of the 17th of Tammuz on the first day of the week. Surely this would have been the only recourse of the pious two thousand years ago; drawing near to G-d at the time of an event that preceded one of the worst tragedies in Jewish history. Hopefully, any tragedies as a result of the Rafael Fire will be averted. H’Shem willing.

Jerusalem Day 5781

“Our Heavenly Father, Israel’s Rock and Redeemer, Bless the State of Israel, the first flowering of our redemption. Shield it under the wings of Your loving kindness And spread over it the Tabernacle of Your peace. Send Your light and truth to its leaders, ministers and officials, And direct them with good counsel before You.” “Strengthen the hands of the defenders of our Holy land; Grant them deliverance, our G-d, And crown them with the crown of victory. Grant peace in the land and everlasting joy to its inhabitants.” “As for our brethren, the whole house of Israel, Remember them in all the lands of their dispersion, And swiftly lead them upright to Zion your city, And Jerusalem Your dwelling place, As is written in the Torah of Moses Your servant: ‘Even if you are scattered to the furthermost land under the heavens, From there the L-rd your G-d will gather you and take you back. The L-rd your G-d will bring you to the land Your ancestors possessed and you will possess it; And He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.’” Deuteronomy 30:4-5 “Unite our hearts to love and revere Your name And observe all the words of Your Torah, And swiftly send us Your righteous anointed one of the house of David; To redeem those who long for Your salvation.” “Appear in Your glorious majesty over all the dwellers on earth, And let all who breathe declare: The L-rd G-d of Israel is King And His kingship has dominion over all. Amen, Selah.”

– Chief Rabbi of Israel, 1948

Jerusalem Day

B”H

May 22, 2020

A poem: Perhaps

Perhaps someone knows,
where the fire still glows.

Perhaps, the stars still shine
over the lives of distant relatives.

Somewhere, in the darkness of the past,
perhaps, they returned home at last.

Today, I continuously search,
within the ashes of the Shoah.

Searching for my lost family members,
whose fate is unknown.

Yet, the light from Shomayim
will always protect their souls.

Wrapped up in the Bundle of Life,
they are preserved forever.

by Tzvi Fievel Schnee