Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the 11th month (yes, the original 9/11) is finally over. I’m glad because I am kind of starving. I’m also glad because we seem to have emerged relatively unscathed. I say relatively because an old synagogue and Jewish community center in Irkutsk, Siberia burnt down. Tragic, yes – I don’t imagine there’s much to do in Irkutsk, especially if you’re Jewish – but compared to the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temples, I still stand by my assessment. We got off easy. But still, if you want to help the Jewish community of Irkutsk, click here. It would be a nice thing to do.
Back in Jerusalem, it was relatively quiet as tens of thousands of people braved the heat and the hunger to spend Tisha B’Av by the Kotel. The Temple Mount remained unscathed as rumours of an attack proved to be untrue. Just to be safe though, Jewish access to the Temple Mount was blocked by the police. A group of 30 “Temple Mount Faithful” could not get in but apparently 2 other groups did. Heck I even got on! It wasn’t Tisha B’Av, but I was wearing a “christ killer” t-shirt and I was hangin with this really sketchy woman. But I digress.
Gershon Solomon, leader of the Temple Mount Faithful was pretty pissed:
This is a total retreat from our sovereignty over the Temple Mount … It’s another dishonor to the Jewish nation by a weak leadership that doesn’t understand the significance of the hour
Hmmm. Oh well. At least someone got Tisha B’Av’s message about sinat chinam – 2 Top Palestinians Settle Dispute With a Kiss:
The Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and his prime minister, Ahmed Qurei, hugged, kissed and settled their political dispute today with a pledge to pursue limited reforms that have been attempted previously without success.
Uh… ok. Frankly, I don’t understand why Qurei is giving poor Yasir such a hard time. Maybe he’s unhappy about his family’s cut of the Israeli/Palestinian cement trade….