Sunday, July 18, 2010

What Do We Pray For?

I wrote this post at Liberty's Spirit, but think that it encompasses a relevant thread about who we are, what we believe and what we wish for our children. It is a political and religious post, but if you can get past that, I think I ask some thought provoking questions. At least in my humble opinion. Comments are wanted and welcome either here or at Liberty's Spirit.

This coming Tuesday is the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av). It is a fast day in commemoration of the destruction of the Temple of Solomon and the Second Temple by the Roman general, later emperor, Titus. Legend tells us that the Temples were destroyed on the same day hundreds of years apart. It is a day of reflection, thought and understanding. It is a day to remember that all humankind needs redemption and can learn from the tragedies of history. As a child growing up we always fasted and prayed that the Temple in Jerusalem would be rebuilt. As a child we prayed and remembered those who did not have the privilege to see a rebuilt State of Israel. As a child we prayed for those encumbered by the chains of the Soviet Union and tyrannical states. The question I have is what do I pray for now?

Of course religious person would say, pray for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. But I am truly uneasy with that now. I think as a child when Jerusalem was divided and Jews were forbidden to go to the Western Wall (Kotel) then it was a reality that we are entitled to our holy sites. But a divided Jerusalem is no longer the case and a strong Israeli government controls the holy sites with access to all and in some cases defers to the non-Jewish residents of the country. They allowed the Moslem Waqf to retain control of the Temple Mount and dictate the terms of how and when Jews can and cannot excavate their heritage from the site. Read the rest here.