Colors: Green Color

Everyone seems to be complaining about politics these days (and there’s good reason for that!), but I want to take a break from that world in order to focus on something far more important. How easy it is to complain about Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, or Bibi Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, while avoiding the one person we can actually change. Therefore, for the next 873 words, let’s stop complaining about every person under the sun and focus on what Yom Kippur is all about: being honest with – ourselves!

Every Torah class dealing with the Three Weeks and the Nine Days will focus on one thing: how to repair the sin’as chinam (baseless hatred) that brought about the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash. Thousands of shiurim all around the world will be given on the importance of loving our fellow Jews and not talking lashon ha’ra. Rabbanim across the globe will stress – over and over again – that as soon as we stop spreading gossip and slander and take upon ourselves to only speak good about our brothers and sisters – that the Beis HaMikdash will immediately be rebuilt. While that sounds wonderful and very exciting, it is actually completely backwards.

Everybody in Israel is going crazy over the recent elections. Yes, the voting part is over…but who won? I realize that in most countries this is a ridiculous question, because by the end of the night either your guy won or your guy lost. However, here in Israel things are a bit more complicated. Gantz and his Blue and White party received two more Knesset seats than Bibi and his Likud party… so Gantz won, right? Well, no, because “winning” in Israel means that you are able to form a government of 61 Knesset members and Gantz only has 33. Therefore, Gantz needs to team up with a bunch of other parties and add their Knesset members to his total. Without going into all the boring details, and assuming that all the leftist/charedi bashers join his coalition, Gantz will have a grand total of just 52. That’s a far cry from 61.

Rashida Harbi Tlaib was born in 1976 and she is the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress. She is a Democrat (really??) and she represents the 13th district in the state of Michigan (which makes her an official “Michiganer!”). Her district includes the western half of Detroit and much of the Downriver area.

I need to make a confession. I understand the importance of remembering past events, but I have a problem sympathizing with things that happened 2,000 years ago. Yes, I read Megillas Eichah and cringe when the prophet talks about Jewish women eating their children in order to survive. I also spend many hours on the floor reading the kinos – mostly with the English translation – and try my best to take things seriously… but it’s hard. Don’t get me wrong; I fully appreciate the great rabbanim who insisted we cry over the tragic events of Tish’ah B’Av and I agree that a people who does not know, and does not identify with the past, will be doomed to repeat it… but let me be honest: It’s a very hard thing for me to do.

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