“Al eleh ani Bo’chiya“. This is why we cry on Tisha B’av. How crazy are we? For 2,000 years we have been divided, split, segregated and compartmentalized and our answer to solve this problem? More splits, more divisions.
This is why I have decided not to attend any of the Siyumei Ha’Shas in Israel. Simply put, I will not be part of this circus. I made aliyah 22 years ago (July 1990) and thank Hashem for every day that I have lived in this incredible land. But I want more. With every fiber of my being I want Jewish unity. I truly love every Yid, regardless of their level of observance. They are my family and they are all welcomed in my home. This is why I began a movement, together with my dear friend Moshe Feiglin, called “Manhigut Yehudit” (The Jewish Leadership Movement). Our goal is to lead the Jewish people under the banner of Jewish identity via Torah principles, values and concepts. No more divisions in our people. No more “us” and “them”. Just tolerance for our brothers and sisters, unwavering love – even for those who don’t act like they should – and education for every Yid in this country, especially for those who need it the most. We are truly a Daf Yomi nation who needs to constantly be “on the same page” as each other.
This is the message that needs to be sent – loud and clear – especially by the Torah world. If we neglect this message and choose instead to focus events such as the Siyum Ha’Shas based on one’s kippa, I am afraid that we will be sitting on the floor for many Tisha B’avs to come.
May Hashem save us – from ourselves.
This article originally appeared in the Queens Jewish Link newspaper on July 26th.