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Israel Now Plans to Begin Opening for Tourists in August

Tonight begins Tisha B'Av. According to the rabbis, the original sin of Tisha B'Av, the Jewish holiday which occurs today and which commemorates a litany of tragedies in the history of the Jewish people, is the story of the spies.

In the Torah, the Israelites are not ready to enter the land of Israel, as they are afraid. Despite everything that God did for them in the Exodus from Egypt and the revelation at Mount Sinai, once they got word from the spies [whom Moses had sent to scout out the land] about the dangers in the land, they cowered in fear and refused to follow Moses to the Promised Land.

On Tisha B'Av we read the book of Lamentations (Eicha) which was traditionally written by the prophet Jeremiah 2700 years ago at the time of the destruction of the First Temple. In the first chapter he writes "Zion's roads are in mourning, empty of festival pilgrims, all her gates are deserted." As a tour guide of Israel during these difficult times, this could not have hit home harder [though I am in no way comparing our situation today with the horrors of the destruction of the Temple]. But the truth remains that there are no pilgrims coming into the Land of Israel these days - due to fear [of the virus] - and that the gates of Jerusalem are empty.

That may, however, soon begin to change. For the first time since March, there is at least some discussion of how to move forward with bringing in tourists to Israel as of mid-August. Of course we will need to get our own house in order a bit better before then as people from "green countries" are not going to want to come here until we can get back to that level. Either way, click on the links below to see what is being discussed...

And remember, at the end of Lamentations it is written... "Take us back... and let us come back. Renew our days as of old!" And it may it be so... and soon!

To learn more about Tisha B'Av - and why it' message is so important right now - click here:

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