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August 14, 2005

Tisha B'Av

Today is the fast of the ninth of Av, Tisha B'Av. Or as Judith at Kesher Talk says, "Tisha B'Av is the 9th day of Av, the 11th month. This is the original 9-11 of the Jewish people."

Judith has hosted a "blogburst" on the destruction by the Muslims of archaelogical evidence of Jewish history at the Temple Mount. The blogburst is actually far broader than that, covering quite a few different topics. Go over there and have a long look.

Judith's reference to Tisha B'Av as the Jewish 9-11 interests me, because I was thinking exactly the same thing, though for less numerological reasons. As Jews, we obsess about our past, and quite a past it is -- a list of horribles more than two and a half millenia long. As Americans, we don't obsess enough. Every September 11, we should watch the video of the World Trade Center towers collapsing. We should see the images of people jumping from the towers. As Jonah Goldberg has written, we have to keep reminding ourselves how we got where we are today.

Yesterday's New York Times had excerpts from oral histories given by people who participated in the rescue efforts at the WTC on September 11. We have to keep reading these so we don't become complacent and forget why we're fighting. I've chosen one to post separately here. It needs absolutely no comment.