Monday, August 11, 2008

Tisha Baav Observation

Last week, as I walked through Rome, I couldn't help think about how odd it was to be in there during the nine days. The Arch of Titus is still there, which was built to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel. 2000 years later, it hasn't changed.

I wanted to get a close look at the arch, but our tour didn't allow it, and we only saw it as we drove by it and the Collesium on our way back to the hotel. Still, even without a close look, I couldn't help feel out of place in Rome.

The people who live in Rome today are descendants of our ancient conquerors. While the empire of Rome is long gone, there doesn't seem to be any wave of immigration or destruction that completely changed the nature of the city. The people walking along the cafes and streets in Rome are possibly descendents of Titus' army that destroyed our Beit HaMikdash.

Rome came into Israel and completely kicked our ass. They destroyed the Beit HaMikdash, and sent Jews into an exile from which we still daven for an end to. We have gone from country to country over the past two millenia, and even though some of us have returned to our homeland, the political and religious situation of our land have been directly impacted by that exile.

But when you look around Rome, the Italians there don't even know about their connection to Israel. There was no fair celebrating military victories long past. They sent us into a tailspin that we still mourn, yet they have no sense of what their ancestors did to us. Its like we were a a little bug that they crushed. It has no meaning at all to them today, yet their occupation, destruction and dispersion of our people are central to our lives today. Especially yesterday.


Blogger SuperRaizy said...

Absolutely true. I think that Jews are hyper-conscious of their own history to an extent that most other cultures are not (or, as my friend used to say, "Jews take history so personally").
If you visit Germany, you will find that most young Germans know very little about the Holocaust as well.

August 11, 2008 10:18 PM  

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