Don't Let It Happen Again

Today, "the sins of Shiloh" is something else.

Batya Medad,

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No, I'm not going to rewrite the Tisha B'av kinot (dirges) in a modern context. It's just that....

Very early in the kinot, Shiloh is mentioned. I live in Shiloh, so I take these things more personally. From my
Very early in the kinot, Shiloh is mentioned. I live in Shiloh, so I take these things more personally.
house, here in ancient-modern, very holy and historic Shiloh, we can't see the ruins, the tel. Actually, we can't see much of a "view," because, baruch HaShem, there have been houses built all around. Yes, I'd rather see houses filled with Jews than gorgeous landscape and historical sites.

In the kinot we read of the "sins of Shiloh." That makes me uncomfortable. Many commentators say that it refers to the sins of the sons of Eli the Priest, the Cohen HaGadol. For that, Shiloh was destroyed.

Today, my mind is seeing this very differently. Like many Jews, I'm haunted by the latest, most modern Tisha B'Av disaster. It's a date which turns up like a bad penny as the date of disasters in Jewish history. Disengagement - the unilateral destruction of Jewish communities by the Israeli government and the forceful exile of innocent Jews from their homes - was scheduled for Tisha B'Av.

With few exceptions, world Jewry sat passively while Jews were forced from their homes, dead Jewish heroes were exhumed from their graves and lives were destroyed. Yes, "lives were destroyed." Even if they weren't shot and thrown into shallow graves like Babi Yar, life as they knew it was destroyed; and most are living, poverty-stricken, in refugee camps.

Only afterwards did some people wake up, and quickly geared up, for a fund-raising campaign to help the "poor refugees."

And now the same mistake is being repeated. They, Israeli rabbis and politicians, foreign Jewish organizations and international politicians and diplomats, keep touting their support for a "united Jerusalem," as if it's a prophylactic treatment to prevent destruction.

Today, "the sins of Shiloh" is something else. It's thinking that Shiloh is expendable. Why do so many Jews (and non-Jews, but they follow Jewish leadership) think that giving our precious Shiloh to the Arabs would protect Jerusalem?

Jerusalem can't stand alone.

Last week, when I toured Samaria, we were shown a map by the Chairman of the Samaria Regional Council. Compare the relative widths of pre-1967 Israel and Samaria.

It's a miracle that Israel survived those nineteen years without it. Does anyone in their right mind think that Israel would survive with an Arab terrorist state in Judea and Samaria?

Shiloh was the first Hebrew capital after Joshua brought the tribes into the Holy Land. The Tabernacle rested here for 369 years. Thirty years ago, seven young families and a fledgling yeshiva brought Jewish life back to Shiloh.

It's a sin to even think of destroying us. It's a sin to stay silent when others propose it.

That's my interpretation of these lines in the kinot:

The dread of the sins of Shiloh was swiftly fulfilled / by the conspirators against her. / They jeered, those wild boars of the forest, / "Where are her pious ones?" / They uncovered shameful acts in order to disgrace her. / And Zion spread her hands (in despair).

May the next ninth of Av be a joyous holiday, the dedication of the Third Holy Temple.