Israel News for 7-31-17

Tisha B’av
Tisha B’av, the 9th day in the month of Av, commemorates the date that both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, first by the Babylonians in 586 BC and then by the Romans in 70 AD. Tisha B’av will be observed tonight (Monday) and Tuesday (until sundown) with fasting, reciting lamentations, and other displays of mourning. In Israel most restaurants and entertainment venues are closed.

The Talmud attributes the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple to baseless hatred. The political and social situation in Israel at the time of the destruction was rife was infighting and strife. Instead of focusing on fighting the Romans, the various Jewish factions fought and killed each other before finally uniting to face the Romans, when it was already much too late. Had the Jews been united, perhaps the destruction, even the war itself, could have been avoided.

The destruction of the Second Temple marked the start of a close to 2,000 year period of statelessness and exile, filled with persecution and massacres, and culminating in the ultimate horror of the Holocaust.

Now we have returned to our homeland, reestablished our sovereignty over it (more or less, despite the efforts of most of the world to keep us vulnerable) and made it thrive. We have a second chance to correct the mistakes we made the first time around. If we can unite and exist in (relative) harmony, we can remain invincible in our land forever.

This is the message, and challenge, of Tisha B’av, and why we continue to commemorate the day of our greatest defeat (what other nation commemorates defeat?).

Will we learn our lesson and correct the mistake of Tisha B’av? That’s a question that only we can answer.

May this be the last Tisha B’av we commemorate, and may we come together as one family, one people, in unity and harmony, to continue to build our homeland and our destiny in peace.

For more information about Tisha B’av click here (

IDF Adapting
As technical continues to play a greater role in modern warfare and the type of potential conflicts in the region evolve, the IDF is planning on making major changes to adapt.

To read a (very) long article explaining the changes being planned by the IDF, click here.

Appeal Rejected
The Military Court of Appeals yesterday rejected both appeals in the Elor Azaria trial, upholding the manslaughter conviction and 18-month sentence given to the former soldier who shot dead a neutralized Palestinian terrorist during his IDF service in Hebron.

Defense Minister Lieberman has urged the family not to file further appeals but to instead ask for a pardon from IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. PM Netanyahu seems to agree with Lieberman. Eisenkot said yesterday that any request for appeal to him would be “seriously considered.”

For further reading click here.,7340,L-4996455,00.html

Pizza Defense [Video]
What do you do when a terrorist attacks you in your pizza shop? When a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a bus driver last week in Shlomi Madar’s pizza store in Petah Tikva and then tried to stab him, Shlomi fought back.

To watch what Shalom Madar did, click here.

Final Gift
Last week 19 year old Ofek Klugman, a member of an elite IDF command unit, died in Rmabam Hospital in Haifa as a result of injuries sustained in a bike accident. His family decided to donate his organs to save the lives of others.

Klugman’s heart was implanted in a 65 year old man. His liver went to a 51 year old man. Both of his lungs went to a 35 year old woman. One of his kidneys went to a 47 year old man and other to a 15 year old boy. All of those who received the transplants are reported to be in good condition.

Klugman, from Nazareth Illit, was an Israeli boxing champion who chose to serve in an IDF combat unit rather than in a special unit where he could continue his boxing training.

In his death, he managed to save five lives.

For further reading click here.