Members of the movements refused to let COVID-19 put an end to eight years of commemorating the fast day by discussing the role of education in strengthening Israeli society
For the past eight years, members of Dror Israel have been meeting with members of Bnei Akiva (Israel’s largest religious Zionist youth movement) to commemorate Tisha B’Av – a Jewish fast day that marks the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Every year we meet together in a dialogue tent in the middle of Tel Aviv to read from the Book of Lamentations and talk about how to combat baseless hatred, which, according to tradition, caused the destruction of the Temple. Our discussions center on how to educate Israeli society towards unconditional love in place of baseless hatred, and what we can learn from the destruction of the Temple.
The social distancing restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that we couldn’t gather together for our usual large event in a tent in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. We even considered cancelling the event entirely.
However, we decided that it is precisely during such difficult times that it is so important to meet. So we did – with masks, outdoors, and maintaining distance – senior staff from both movements kept the tradition alive and talked about what is happening today in Israel and what we can do to strengthen our society.