As we head into the three sad weeks that lead inexorably to the fast of Tisha b’Av, the lowest point of our liturgical year, the situation facing Israel seems as grim as it did when Jerusalem was under siege all those millennia ago.
There seems to be very little hope, little light, little possibility of peace.
That cannot be.
The murders of the three Israeli boys and then the murder of a Palestinian boy seem to be leading irrevocably to more conflict, more blood, more pain, more death. Hamas, meanwhile, is taking advantage of the rage whipped up by the murders to pursue its own illogical, violent, unwinnable ends, as Syria and Iraq explode in spasms of Dark Age barbarism not too far away.
If there is hope, though, it might well lie in the lessons of Tisha b’Av, three and a half weeks away. Despite everything, we survived. We are still here.
We still will be here.
We hope that the path to peace does not wind through rocket fire and missiles from Gaza, through increased troop deployments, through the death of anybody’s children. As we begin the time when we consider our historical tragedies, we pray that we do not have to repeat them.