Today, the 17th of Tammuz, is a fast day. A friend who has recently been taking care of her elderly grandfather shared an idea with me: It's sad to see someone lose their memory. There are many causes of dementia, when a person forgets fundamental facts about his life, his identity, his past.
Can an entire nation be struck with dementia and forget its identity? Can an entire people forget its history and its exile, and repeat its past mistakes? This danger can be avoided if, together, we simply remember the power of our common story and the glorious vision of the future that unites us.
Today, the 17th of Tammuz, 1,953 years ago, the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, who destroyed the Second Temple three weeks later, on the 9th of Av. Thus today's fast begins a three week period of mourning.
Yet a nation that mourns its past mistakes, that remembers well what happened and why, will merit a brilliant future