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War in Israel on the Ninth of Av

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Tuesday morning, August 5, when the 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect, was the Ninth of Av. Things are quiet in modern Israel on the Ninth of Av. Jewish tradition holds that it was on the ninth day of the month of Av that the first temple, Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, was destroyed in 587 BC(E), and the burning of Herod’s Temple, on the same day six centuries later, in the year 70. In commemoration, observant Jews fast, many refrain from working, and they read the Biblical Book of Lamentations, bemoaning the fall. Wikipedia calls it “a day destined for tragedy.”

So far, this war has not threatened the existence of the Jewish homeland in the same way the historic tragedy of the sacking of Jerusalem led to centuries of exile. Hamas, at least for now, does not have the capability to pursue such an attack on its own, and they have yet to find an international partner willing to go to war for them. Even if they wanted to, and many of the Arab countries and Iran would probably love to, they’re busy fighting their own existential enemies.

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