When half of the People of Israel reside in the Land of Israel, Jerusalem is continually being built, the birth-rate increases, our enemies destroy themselves, the Land gives of her fruit luxuriously, and anti-Semitism becomes less frequent, it is incumbent on us to define for ourselves what we mourn on the 9th of Av, and what we lament during the weeks of "between the straits".
1. Half the Jewish Nation is in exile – the Gemara says that G-d cries for the People of Israel in exile: "and tears will be shed, and tears will fall from My Eyes because the flock of the Lord has been captured." Said Rabbi Elazar, what is the meaning of the three words related to the root of tears? One for the First Temple. And one for the Second Temple. And one for Israel who have been exiled from their domain. Because when the People of Israel are in exile, they cannot bring light to the world. When the People of Israel are in exile, more than half of their children assimilate and marry foreigners, and the other half forget that they are Jewish.
Therefore, every Jew's stay in exile is a desecration of the Name of G-d. As the prophet Ezekiel says: "And when they came to the nations, where they came, they profaned My Holy Name; in that men said of them: 'These are the people of the Lord, and they went out of His Land.' " The mere fact that the gentiles know that G-d promised the ingathering of the exiles, and they see that the Jews are not fulfilling His Word, is a desecration of His Name. And you have no greater sanctification of the Name than a Jew who immigrates to the Land of Israel and shows the whole world that the Word of our Lord will endure forever.
2. A country in need of repair – Thank G-d, we are glad that there is the reign of Jews in the Land of Israel and not the reign of Arabs, Turks or British. But we hurt because in the government there are people who are not concerned about the Jewish identity of the State. There are people who don't settle the entire land of Israel, who don't strike our enemies with a decisive blow, who think of their own honor over the good of the Jewish nation. About this, it is written that G-d cries about the patron who gives his own honor precedence over the community. About a leader whose authority serves his own honor with no regard for the People of Israel.
3. There is no Torah in the kingdom – the Gemara says that G-d cries over the negation of Torah, and it explains, "since Israel was exiled from their domain, there is no greater alienation from the Torah than this." And this does not refer to individuals who can study Torah anywhere as it has been for thousands of years. This refers to the Torah that directs all of communal life as it did for the Kings of Israel. A Ministry of Education which has forgotten that in a Jewish State children should be aware of their identity. A judicial system that forgets that it was the Jewish People who directed all the principles of law in the world. A judicial system with judges who release rioters just because they are Arabs. Rioters who incite, who throw stones and Molotov cocktails and seize land. Police officers who forget that they are in a Jewish State and accept rioting Arabs and destroy Jewish homes.
4.Arabs steal our land - at the end of the Book of Lamentations it says that we pray because foreigners are stealing our land. "Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us; behold, and see our disgrace. Our inheritance is given to strangers, our homes to foreigners." (Lamentations 5). And in our prayers we use the same language. "Have mercy, O G-d on Your People and do not give your domain to disgrace, to be ruled by gentiles. Why should people say 'Where is their Lord?'" Mainly, we weep about the presence of gentiles on the Temple Mount, which is a grief to the Divine Presence: "The crown has fallen from our heads, woe unto us, for we have sinned. Because of this our hearts are wretched, for these things our eyes grow dim, for the Mountain of Tzion which is desolate, foxes wander on it."
5. Evil inclination – The Torah describes Moshe and Aaron crying while Zimri Ben Salu, head of the Shimoni family, encourages incest with the daughters of the nation of Moav. In our times we have to cry about all of the forces that encourage the evil inclination, whether it's homosexuality, the internet, or social media. Whether it's in Israel or anywhere in the world. We must pray and also take action to stop this terrible epidemic. And about this is written, "And they were weeping at the entrance to the Tabernacle."
6. Anti-Semitism - The prophet Jeremiah describes to us that G-d weeps and says. "And if you will not hear it, my soul will weep in secret for your pride [gaivah], and my eyes will weep sorely, and run with tears, because the flock of the Lord is taken captive."" (Jeremiah Chapter 13,17). And the Gemara asks what does "for your gaivah" mean? "Rabbi Shmuel Bar Yitzhak said, for the pride of Israel, which was taken from them and given to strangers". [Chagigah 5].
Thank G-d, anti-Semitism today is not as it was during the Holocaust, in those days there was no country that helped the Jews, and today only a quarter of the world hates the Jews, but a quarter is still a large number. From there comes the phenomenon of BDS and all of Hamas and Hezbollah. In the Gemara, anti-Semitism is considered a great desecration of G-d’s name.
7. Murder of Jews – Thank G-d, our blood is not free-for-all as it was in exile. But still Jews were violently murdered by Arabs, and the world doesn't understand why we are reacting. Why we are trying to stop the Arabs from Gaza who fire thousands of missiles at us. Why we destroy the house of the terrorist who murdered a Jew at Tapuah Junction.
The prophet Jeremiah says that the Divine Presence cries over the spilled blood of the Jewish people: "For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of her that brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, sobbing, spreading her hands: 'Woe is me, now! for my soul is weak before the murderers' ". [Jeremiah 4, 31]. Our pain that we grieve in these days over the shortcomings which hinder the Redemption do not blind us from all of the good that G-d has granted us. And we thank Him for the good and tearfully ask Him to release us from all of these afflictions.