July 21st 2016
Judaism is a religion of joy and most of the months usher in some festivity or another. The Hebrew months of Tammuz and Av (July/August), however, commemorate some of the saddest moments in Jewish history, reminding us of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Holy Temples. Yet there is a message of hope even within these days. If you’re visiting Israel in July/August, visit these venues to get a better appreciation for everything we have to be happy for all year round.
Possibly the most poignant display of solidarity and pride to express during these days of mourning over the loss of Jerusalem is to visit Ammunition Hill, a museum devoted to the 1967 War. During this war Israel regained control over the city, solidifying it as the Jewish capital once more. Navigate through the winding trenches, climb on the tremendous tanks, and watch an interesting video on how the war unfolded.
The Temple Mount Institute is a fascinating museum that has reconstructed the vessels of the Holy Temple exactly as described in the Bible in hopes that when the Messiah comes, all the vessels will already be in place to serve in the rebuilt Temple immediately. Marvel at the detail, precision, and exactitude that craftsmen have taken to create such masterpieces. And what better way to commemorate the destruction of the Temple than to celebrate its rebirth?
The last remnant of the once-proud Holy Temple, the Western Wall is a symbol of hope, solidarity, and unwavering faithfulness to God that the Jewish people cherish dearly. The magnitude of this location is so powerful that it is felt and celebrated even by non-Jews who visit the wall by the thousands. When you’re visiting Israel, go to the Wall, give a heartfelt prayer, and leave a note in the hallowed cracks within the wall itself.
Judaism is a religion of happiness. Even during the saddest times of the year when we minimize joy, we never eliminate it completely. Come share in the overwhelming love and joy that this proud nation feels collectively as you view the history, present, and future all converging in one beautiful tapestry called Israel.