Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bein Hazmanim during a war?

From Tisha B'Av through Rosh Chodesh Elul is traditionally Bein Hazmanim where the Yeshivas/Kollelim close down for a short vacation. Jonathan Rosenblum With My Brother in Pain raises the question that if the war is still going on should/will the yeshivas close down.

We tirelessly proclaim that our Torah learning and mitzvos protect the Jews of Eretz Yisrael no less than the might of the IDF. We will never convince those who do not share our perspective. But at the very least let us check to see whether our own actions attest to our sincere belief that learning and mitzvos can help determine the outcome.

Removing Hizbullah rockets from range of northern Israel may well entail a large Israeli ground offensive into Lebanon, with the call-up of thousands of reservists. If thousands of troops are still mired in Lebanon two weeks hence, or if the residents of the North are still stuck in bomb shelters, will yeshivos close down, as usual, for bein hazemanim? Will the increased intensity of our learning and davening be palpable? Will we be spending our time thinking of concrete ways to relieve the stress of families under fire – perhaps even inviting them into our homes?

It will be instructive to see what happens. Hopefully the question will be moot.

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