by Tom Brennan
Tishah B”Av is a day which resonates with tears and sorrow in the Jewish people. God never works in coincidences, only in purposes. On this day a multiple set of disasters throughout history tried to crush and test the Israelites. The destruction of the first Temple (built by Solomon) by the forces of Babylon saw the city walls breached and the city conquered. The Babylonians wrecked the Temple, took the sacred vessels and destroyed the gates. They demolished the identity of the city and its people, or so they thought. Later after an exile, Nehemiah and a Prophet were led to rebuild the Temple and gates and walls, against the threats of neighboring cities.
The Romans put down a revolt by Judea in 66-70 AD. Although the Roman general wanted to secure the Temple, a fire started and the Legionaries took the stones apart to get at the melted gold that flowed like tears down the walls. The death toll was catastrophic and many survivors saw fates as slaves or entertainment for the Roman idle masses in the bloody “reality shows” of the arena. The Romans gradually allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem and some repairs were made to the Temple. But still the occupied people seethed, ready to rise again.
Once more the Jews revolted under Bar-Kochbar. This time in 135 the Romans decided to eradicate the memory of the troublesome Jews once and for all. The campaign swept through galilee and into Judea. When the city was once again secure it was levelled. The remains of the Temple, homes and buildings were levelled and in an act of significance, a plough was driven over. This meant that the city that was there was no more. A new Roman city, Aeolia Capitolina was built and the Province was now called Syria Palestina (after the Philistines). Jews were now outcasts, but some still survived quietly. The followers of the Nazarene had fled before in 66 AD. Followers of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakki had fled in the time of the first revolt as well and re-established a form of Judaism which centered on the local synagogue as the house of prayer until a third Temple was built. Both sects were saved from the wholesale destruction that followed.
On this day in 1290, Jews were expelled from Britain, by a Crusader monarchy that had killed Muslim and Jew alike, along with heretics and anyone who held lands or property the church let them confiscate. In 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella completed the work of the Inquisition and expelled all Jews who would not convert and seized lands and property. No doubt some of these funds let Columbus (suspected to be of Jewish origin) sail to his discoveries.
Israel has always been deserted by those who should have been its best friends. America and Europe abandoned Jews fleeing the Nazi and Fascist camps and Holocaust. They stood back while the new nation fought off attacks from all sides when the State was declared. They allowed boycotts, malevolent UN hearings and harangues and homegrown anti-Semitism to flourish. Now America has turned its back and given a carte blanche to Iran to prepare to annihilate Israel (and then the submissive USA).
But contrary to the events on this sad date, Israel endures. It defends its Land, a Land given to Abraham’s descendants, and stands alone as a true democracy and steward of The Land of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Messiah. God is providing new allies, the descendants of Abraham’s other son: Ishmael. Nations which once worked for Israel’s destruction now look to a nation blessed by God, delivered by countless miracles and defended by a Diaspora that has returned. Perhaps they are finally getting the message in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the governments of America and Europe might learn a thing or two themselves about Israel. The “Iron Dome” protects Israel from missiles. Above the dome of iron is a protective Hand of Providence. When we stand with Israel we are protected by that Hand as well.Share this page with your friends
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