Tisha be'Av is coming up this Mozzaei Shabbat and I don't even feel anything about the nine days. Instead I am busy with curing some further injuries being caused in the bus accident more than two weeks ago. Bruised ribs on both sides of the body is anything but pleasant.
Yesterday was a bad day and I was full of pain. I took some "Dr. Feelgood" but still didn't know how to sit or lay down. I am really looking forward to making normal movements again.:-) Later on today, I am going for physiotherapy and maybe this helps a bit.
I was planning to prepare some articles but, once again, have to delay my description about the accident. Instead, a friend of mine, has written something very recommendable on her blog:
Tisha be'Av is ahead and I don't think that anyone could possibly feel the pain of the destruction of the Temples more than in Jerusalem. On Erev Tisha be'Av, the Kotel (Western Wall) will be filled with thousands of mourning Jews. Jews sitting on the floor of the Kotel Plaza and reading Kinot. Many of them even bring pillows or, believe it or not, mattresses, in order to spend the night at the Kotel.
With a friend I am going to participate in the march around the Old City walls organized by the "Women in Green". Afterwards we are planning to go to a Shiur. Almost on every corner of Jerusalem you find different Shiurim throughout the night.
Last night I went to my regular Shiur where we usually study Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi's opinion on Eretz Israel. However, Rabbi Chaim Eisen had put together a few Piyutim (poems) written by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi. The Piyutim (some verses are part of the Kinot) were describing the tragic massacres of the Crusaders in 1099. As soon as the Crusaders entered Jerusalem on their First Crusade, all Jews and Muslims were killed by them. Furthermore, Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi wrote Piyutim on the massacres taking place in Toledo (Spain). Shortly after, he left Spain for Eretz Israel. According to Rabbi Yehudah, a Jew should YEARN for the return to Eretz Israel. He sees it as one of the biggest Mitzvot to live in Israel. After the massacres of thousands of Jews through Christians and Muslims in Toledo, Rabbi Yehudah came to the conclusion that the Diaspora is not a place for a Jew. A Jew should always strive for living in Israel, as this is the only place where he belongs.
Diaspora Jews usually don't like to hear this but, in my opinion, Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi was right. Unfortunately too many Jews abroad were and are still not willing to give up their comfortable and convenient lifestyle. Just like those Jews remaining in Babylon while others moved back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple.