A Nation Under Siege
The national mourning of three weeks begins this Shabbat, the 17th of Tammuz, when the siege of Jerusalem during the Second Beit Hamikdash began. (The actual fast is postponed till the next day.)
That tragic siege which culminated in the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and a two-millennia exile is something which people who live in Israel can identity with. Although there are no Roman legions outside the walls of Jerusalem, there are other elements that threaten the country. Deadly rockets are still being fired by terrorists in Gaza, Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons and tens of thousands of African infiltrators besiege certain sections of the country and threaten its citizens.
There are no easy solutions to these problems even when a national unity government tries to find one. As in all such situations throughout history, believing Jews put their faith in G-d and increase the intensity of their prayer, Torah study and charitable deeds.
Viewing this modern siege should hopefully cause more and more Jews in Israel to return to their religious roots and rely only on G-d to preserve Israel forever.