In 1977, Menachem Begin made his first visit to the U.S. as Israel’s prime minister—a visit that coincided with Tisha b’Av, the ancient day of mourning over the destruction of the two Temples, along with other calamities that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. Not only did Begin take time out from his official activities to attend Tisha b’Av eve services at a synagogue, but, appearing the next day on Meet the Press, explained the day’s significance to his American audience. Meir Soloveichik, using Begin’s comments as his point of departure, seeks to answer the question of why we still mourn Jerusalem’s destruction some 2,000 years ago when the Jewish state is restored, Jerusalem is in our hands, and we have so much to celebrate.
Today Jews Have Their Own State and the Freedom to Return from Exile. So Why Do We Continue to Mourn the Temples’ Destruction?
Why Qatar Is a Problematic Ally
On September 14, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Qatari counterpart met and signed an agreement on cultural exchange, followed by an official statement from Foggy Bottom about “shared ideas of tolerance.” Since then, there have also been reports that the U.S. is considering awarding the peninsular monarchy the status of a major non-NATO ally, and even that Doha will be next in line to normalize its relations with Israel. The fact remains, however, that the Qatari educational system is rife with anti-Semitic indoctrination. Moreover, argues Efraim Inbar, it would be strategically foolish for Washington to reward Qatar with upgraded relations: