Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Today is the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz and it too is being observed in the shadow of the Corona virus. Who believed last Pesach, (celebrated in lockdown), that we would mark Lag B’Omer and Shavuot and graduation parties, and that we would reach the days of mourning over the destruction of Jerusalem – all while still in the grip of the worldwide pandemic.
So today 2,000 years ago the walls of Jerusalem fell. Why did they fall? And why was the Holy Temple destroyed after that? Not only because of the external enemy but because of our reaction to the external enemy. It’s always the same test: what we choose to do at a moment of crisis. God sends Titus (or the corona), but the reason for the final destruction is not the enemy but rather how we respond to it.
In the past we chose baseless hatred, division and constant quareling, running away from our common purpose – and because of this we fast until today. The headlines of recent days are frightening. Once again it becomes clear that the threat is not only the enemy – in this case corona – but how we respond to it. Here’s hoping we have learned our lesson.