Note--I will be returning to Shani soon. Keep watching for the next chapter.
There is a midrash somewhere that says that Mashiach will be born on Tisha B'Av, and then what was the saddest day on the calendar will turn into one of feasting.
Well, I hope that's true. But it won't happen this year.
The Siyum HaShas is a little more than one week away. I will be there, along with Builder, the Things and Queen Mom. However, the Monsey Viznitzer Rebbe won't be. The reason? Two rabbis from Israel will be speaking. Apparently, the Monsey Viznitzer Rebbe does not believe in the State of Israel, and wants to disassociate himself from anything remotely Zionist.
The comments, BTW are a reminder why I never read the Yeshiva World News. Not good for my blood pressure. One commenter said :You can't call Rabbi Yaakov Hillel a Zionist! That's motzi shem ra! (Translation--a straight insult.) Wow. Have we really broken down to such a point that the term "Zionist" is now considered a black mark against someone?
Truth is, I don't even know who is speaking at the Siyum HaShas. I don't particularly care, either, as I've probably never even heard of most of the speakers. However, the Siyum isn't about who is up on the dais. It's about the large section of K'lal Israel who have spent the last seven and a half years taking time out to study the Talmud one page a day. It's about those who might not have the chance to learn in an organized fashion taking that opportunity and making the most of it. And, if all these petty internecine conflicts overshadow that accomplishment, then we have completely missed the point. And, once again, we'll be fasting on Tisha B'Av. Unfortunately, if this infighting keeps up, that's about the only thing we'll have in common.