Thursday, Israelis and Jews around the world observe a fast, called Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av) after the Hebrew date the fast falls on. The fast is the second most serious in Judaism, after Yom Kippur, and commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples. Most scholars agree that the Second Temple fell as a result of infighting between Jewish factions.
This year, as Israel faces a serious internal crisis that pits different factions of the Jewish population against each other, the fast day hits close to home for many Israelis. Israel’s political leaders released statements calling for unity and mutual respect, while many secular Israelis who don’t usually fast on Tisha b’Av reported their intent to fast in protest of the societal division.
Please pray that the reminder of the consequences of pursuing division would be a wake-up call for all of Israeli society and especially Israel’s political leaders. Please continue to pray for the healing of the societal rift. Lastly, please pray that this day would bring together Israelis of different backgrounds on an individual basis.
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