Israel Forever

For the week ending 24 July 2004 / 6 Av 5764

What Happened to the "Faithful City"?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The "Nine Days" are upon us.

Nine days, from Rosh Chodesh Av until the Ninth of Av. Days of mourning the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and other tragedies which took place on Tisha BAv.

The sins of our ancestors which were the catalyst of these tragedies are dramatically described in the Haftarah we will be reading in our synagogues this Shabbat. In fact it is called "Shabbat Chazon" because of the first word in the prophecy of Yeshayahu Hanavi, in which he laments the degeneration of Yerushalayim from a "faithful city" to the status of an immoral woman.

When Yerushalayim is chosen as the site for a "gay parade" in our own days, we hear the echo of the Prophets indictment. But it is not only this unwelcome "celebration" that is to be lamented. Most of Israeli society falls short of the standards of decency in dress and behavior that are to be expected in the country of the People of the Torah.

As we mourn tragedies of the past we must reflect on how to avoid tragedies in the future by improving our society in order to secure Israel forever.

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