Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90
Demolition of Ganey Tal settlement in Gush Katif, Gaza, during the disengagement. August 22, 2005.

The year 2005 was the first time I ever truly felt the pain of Tishabaav.

It was the year of “the disengagement” from Gush Katif.


A few days before Tishabaav that year, I was in an internet cafe in Jerusalem. And on the radio we heard them evacuating some of the communities. There were probably 20 of us in that cafe. Religious. Not religious. Left. Right. Men. Women. And I remember we all just sat there stunned. Listening to Jewish people cry and scream and sing as they were evacuated, by other Jewish people, our soldiers, out of their homes and lives. And then I remember looking around. Every single person in that internet cafe was crying.

At the time, I was living in an apartment close to the old city. So for Eicha, on the night of Tishabaav, me and my roommate walked to the Kotel.

There were so many people there. There was so much orange. People with so many suitcases and bags with them. And people in tents. I had never seen anything like it. People who had been kicked out of their homes from Gush Katif…with no place to go. Some of them. Went straight to the kotel. And they were crying. Oh were they crying. Like I had never seen tears in my life, they were crying.

That was the year I first understood the pain of Tishabaav.

The intensity of those two moments has stayed with me and every Tishabaav I relive them. Feeling like. This pain. Of displacement from a place of chaos and confusion and disconnection.

This pain must be a small taste of what it felt like when the Temples were destroyed.

And then this Tishabaav. With so many rockets. Again war and rockets from those beautiful yishuvim we pulled out of 17 years ago. We didn’t allow one Jew to stay in that part of our land. And now. We get rockets. It feels like at least once a year.

And it just feels like the land feels the loss of Gush Katif so intensely all over again. Whenever there are rockets. That pain never truly having resolved itself yet. An ongoing trauma of sorts.

Like the pain of losing the Temples.

The pain of the Galut. The pain of displacement from a place of chaos and confusion and disconnection.

I’m so grateful that Hashem has allowed us to come back to our homeland. And I know this is the best situation we Jews have been in for thousands of years.

Finally back in our land. With an army to call our own. A bit of safety and security in the world of Jew hatred.

And yet. We’re also not back.

We’re Still in the Galut so intensely.

With war and politics and confusion and chaos and disconnection….. working on overpowering our world on a daily basis.

And I just. Cry. Today on the day after Tishabaav which today is the day of the fast. Because. We’re not there yet.

And I’m desperately praying for the day we are.


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