Sunday, July 26, 2015

The sword of Tisha B’Av cuts both ways

The Jewish Day called, Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av) commemorates Jewish national tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people. It’s the day when, more than 3,300 years ago, the Jewish ‘spies’ came back from a scouting mission to Israel, to report what they saw to Moshe and the Jewish nation. They reported Israel couldn’t be conquered. They said the land devours its inhabitants.

They failed to believe HaShem’s Promises. They rejected those Promises.

On that day, upon hearing that report, the Jewish nation cried. They didn’t trust HaShem’s Promises. They wailed. They mourned. They’d never be able to enter the land!

As a result of that false mourning that long-ago day, the ninth of Av has been forever marked with tragedy.

On the ninth of Av, the first Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Jewish blood ran in the streets of Jerusalem.

On the ninth of Av more than 600 years later, the second Holy Temple was destroyed. More Jewish blood ran in the streets of Jerusalem.

On the ninth of Av, Jews went into an exile that lasted more than 1,900 years, until 1947 and the birth of modern Israel.

On the ninth of Av, we mourn those—and other—Jewish tragedies. But those tragedies contain an embedded lesson for those who would destroy Israel today. You see, Tisha B’Av isn’t just a story about Jews. It’s also about non-Jews who, after all, perpetrated the Tisha B’Av tragedies. It’s a story of what happens when any nation rejects, scorns and defiles HaShem.  

In 2015, Tisha B’Av falls on Sunday, July 26th. On this day, Jews everywhere read Kinot, the poetry of Tisha B’Av’s mourning. The words of the Kinot may have been written originally to describe the destruction of the two Jewish Holy Temples and the fate of Jews during that destructon. But these words also describe the modern reality of Arabs in the Middle East who seek to bring a modern Tisha B’Av to modern Israel. The Kinot describes the current fate of Jew-hating Arabs:

-They unsheathe their swords against their own camp.

-They make war upon themselves. They destroy the gates of their own ramparts. Their tents fill with (their own) blood.

-Their leaders prophesy phantoms and deceits. They replace good with evil.

-They are cursed. Their vineyards wither into dust (as Israel blossoms).

-Their lawlessness leads to their own devastation.

-Their wells run dry. Their rains turn to dust.

-Instead of blessings, their land turns to iron.

-They are cursed. They know only despair. They wreak havoc among their own multitudes.

-They have no peace. Their city is a graveyard. They hurl their children into the abyss. Their evil consumes them.

-They destroy their own judges.

-Their counsel is a perversion. Their crookedness leads them to bitter waters.

-Their glory is ruined by the carnage of their sword.

-In their land, there is no peace.

The fate of Jew-hating Arabs has been foretold with their own words: destruction, fire, flames of hate. They have spoken it. Now those words pour down upon them, not the Jews.

Look around the Middle East. All that you read above is real—for Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and most parts of the Palestinian Authority.

Haven’t you wondered why the desertification of the Middle East which everyone laments doesn’t come to Israel? Haven’t you wondered why the prosperity and accomplishment you see in Israel doesn’t occur among Arabs who curse Israel and the Jews?

The answer is simple: he who curses the Jews is cursed. You see that all over the Arab Middle East.

Tisha B’Av is a day of tragedy. But that tragedy cuts two ways. It punished Jews who rejected HaShem. But it will also punish those who seek to destroy HaShem by destroying the two things in this world He loves most—the Jewish people and the Jewish Israel.

The Tisha B’Av tragedy is a warning. It warns that, if you seek to destroy the Jewish nation, you will yourself be destroyed in the same manner you plot against Israel.

What today’s current events teach us is how that promise of punishment unfolds in real time: those who curse Israel will not just be cursed themselves. Their curses will pour down upon their own people.

Those who hate Jews hate their own multitudes. Those who would exterminate Jews exterminate their own people. Those who would behead, rape and enslave Jews, behead, rape and enslave their own kind.

The curse cuts twice. The one who curses Jews is the one who will be cursed. The one who would destroy Jews will destroy himself.

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. It’s the Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. You don’t see how today’s growing Jew-hate will play a part in that Story?

Stay tuned.

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