Join our email list

The State of Our Brokenness

Something elemental has been desecrated in our shared Israeliness, and Yom Kippur has again forced us to face ourselves
Yossi Klein Halevi is a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University and Jennifer Raskas, he co-directs the Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative. Yossi is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor and co-host with Donniel Hartman and Elana Stein Hain of the Institute’s award-winning podcast, For Heaven’s Sake. He is also the author of Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli

Though Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av are both fast days, the most serious of the Jewish calendar, they represent opposite religious sensibilities. Tisha B’Av, commemorating the destruction of the Temple, the exile of the Divine Presence from Israel and the end of Jewish sovereignty, is the black hole of Jewish history, a day that begins with despair and only gradually, toward the end of the fast, manages to restore some hope.

Yom Kippur, by contrast, is about spiritual optimism: the power of penitence to evoke forgiveness. Not of God’s distance but closeness to Israel.

This year, in Tel Aviv, Yom Kippur turned into Tisha B’Av, an intimation of destruction.

Read the full blog on Times of Israel.

You care about Israel, peoplehood, and vibrant, ethical Jewish communities. We do too.

Join our email list for more Hartman ideas

Join our email list


The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics