It’s been a very difficult week for the State of Israel and for the Jewish people.
Look at this picture, that was sent to me this week, that was in the Daily Telegraph. It’s a picture of one of the bombs that landed in Israel, burned an apartment and the residents of that apartment are sifting through the rubble. What the boy finds is an almost undamaged model of the Second Temple.
Now I made that very same model when I was a kid. It sat proudly on our fireplace for many years and I remember how we used the model idea at a Tochnit that I once ran as part of Tribe camp when it used to fall on Tisha b’Av.
We asked the children to do two things: One group was told to build a model of the Bet Hamikdash, to build in essence, what you see in the picture, using paper and card and cardboard and glue it all together, we gave them instructions. The other group was told to learn a song. The song actually was ‘Someday’ the Mordechai ben David song about the eventual return to Jerusalem and the Geulah Sheleimah – the final redemption. We gave them the soundtrack and the lyrics and asked them to learn the song.
Eventually towards the end of the fast, we brought both groups together. We said to the first group, ‘Let’s see your building’, and they presented us with the Second Temple model. We said to the second group ‘Can you please give us your cd than you recorded your track onto’ and the second group handed us the CD.
So, we now have a CD and we have the model of the Second Temple. We snapped the CD in half and we burned the model of the temple. The kids obviously were quite shocked by us doing this. We then said to the first group who were looking stunned at their burnt temple model ‘So what do you have for us?’ They had nothing it had been burned. We said to the second group what do you have for us? They looked at us defiantly …. and they sang the song.
The message of that Tisha b’Av and the message of this picture, is that many groups throughout history have tried to destroy the Jewish people. They have burned down our temples they have sent our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters to gas chambers, they have exiled us from our land, they have destroyed our synagogues, they have tried to destroy the Jewish people. However, just like in the picture where the family survives and the model survives, we told those kids on Tisha B Av – you can’t destroy the song of the Jewish people that is eternal that carries on.
On Sunday night, we will celebrate the anniversary of Hashem giving us that song, giving us our legacy, giving us our destiny, giving us our raison d’aitre of being a Jew. On Shavuot when we celebrate Matan Torah, there should be a realization that the Torah is the message that we are duty bound to give to our families, to our communities and to the world.
Yet it has always had, will always have, its opponents, who want to silence the Jewish people, who want to silence our voice of morality, of truth, of humanity, of all the things that the Jewish people stands for, of all the things that the Jewish state stands for and they want to destroy that.
We know that our response used to be, what can we do? They will kill us, they will butcher us they will murder us, but there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Our physical buildings our physical bodies are going to be destroyed, there is nothing we can do. That was the exile, that was the reality for 2000 years.
However today, our enemies fire thousands of rockets on men women and children to destroy and murder- we have a state called Israel, that will defend those Jewish people and any citizen of the state of Israel, Jew or Arab. With the mastery and the genius of the Iron Dome, the vast majority of those missiles have been shot out the sky with relatively little damage.
Can you imagine the catastrophic effect if there was no Iron Dome, if all those missiles could have reached their targets, the amount of casualties and death would be huge. Thank God the State of Israel invests in the Iron Dome, to save the population, but all our enemy invests in is terror tunnels and terror weapons to destroy and murder.
You cannot compare the evil of Hamas to the goodness and the humanity of the State of Israel.
On Shavuot we read ‘vayichan am neged ha Har’ – that we encamped as one by Har Sinai. We were united as one when we received the Torah.
At this time in Israel, despite all the internal politics that have gone over the last few weeks, months and years of the divisions of the Jewish people, now we are united because we know that when Hamas fires their murderous rockets it doesn’t say on it for the Orthodox, a Sefardi, an Ashkenazi, for the Secular. It doesn’t say for a left wing, for a right wing – it just says for a Jew, that’s what the target for the Hamas rockets are.
This Shabbat is the Shabbat between two mountains. Har Ha Moriah of Yom Yerushalayim and Har Sinai of Shavuot. The journey of the Jewish people is from receiving Torah on Har Sinai at the birth of the Jewish Nation, all the way through to eventually coming to Har Ha Moriah for the building of the third Beit Ha Mikdash and the Geulah Sheleimah.
We must know that between those two mountains, there will be a history of nations that want to destroy us. However, we know that thank God in this generation we have begun the return to Har HaMoriah, we have come back to Israel and Jerusalem, and no longer will those enemies of the Jewish people find us defenceless, because Jewish blood is no longer cheap. We will defend our nation, we will defend our cities, we will defend our populations from anyone who tries to destroy them.
That is simply what you are seeing this week, the State of Israel is defending itself against a murderous tyrannical enemy.
As we come to Shavuot we have to realize, at the anniversary of the giving of the song, it is a song that we have never stopped singing. So we don’t care what the press has to say, we don’t care about the BBC or Sky News or what the celebrities or politicians may think and may write. We are the Jewish people and we have come home.
We are proud of our nation-state defending itself against terror and yes, we pray for peace but we pray for a real peace, a lasting peace, a peace that will allow good to overcome evil, will allow the righteous to overcome the wicked and we pray that the Jewish nation and the rest of the Arab world will live together in peace – Amen.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Click here to watch on YouTube “Our message to Hamas”