Tonight the Nine Days are upon us in earnest. Some years are harder than others to really put ourselves in the mourning mode. But this year it's not going to be hard to mourn the loss of the Beis HaMikdash or the lack of Moshiach. Sadly, it's going to be quite easy to remind ourselves that we are indeed in the midst of a painful galus. It has been a hard year for Am Yisrael, and just revisiting the past year, we are reminded of just how painful our Galus is.
The tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people in the year alone are almost too many to list. First, the West Bank shooting that left Kochava Even-Haim a'h, Avichai Shendler a'h and Talya and Yitzchak Imes a'h all dead. Talya was 9 months pregnant at the time of her death. Talya and Yitzchak left behind six children, the youngest of whom was 18 months old.
Then there were two Christian women tourists hiking not two miles from our home who were stabbed by Arabs and left for dead, one narrowly escaping, while the other one died of her wounds.
Shortly after followed the horrific killing of the Fogel family of Itamar, where Arab terrorists broke into their village and killed 5 out of 8 family members, including two young boys and a 3 month old baby girl.
In March there was the bomb that detonated at the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (at the Beit Shemesh stop) killing one and injuring 50 others.
There was 16 year old Daniel Viflic a'h who was killed when a rocket hit the school bus he was riding on to visit his grandmother.
Ben Yosef Livnat, aged 24, father of four children was murdered at Kever Yosef HaTzadik, while on his way to prayer.
Then came the brutal murder of Leiby Kletzky, a'h that shocked Jews all over the world. And while the pain of Leiby's murder is still fresh, none of us will ever forget what happened, not 20, 30 or 40 years from now.
And now this past week, the stabbing and death of the Baba Sali's grandson, R' Yisrael Abuhatzeira zt'l leaves us reeling yet again.
If there are more that I have forgotten may they forgive me. It seems too many already.
So, no. It will not be hard to sit on the floor during Tisha b'Av this year and mourn. We need only remember those we lost this year in "unnatural" circumstances. Those that were taken from us too early in heinous, horrific ways. The best we can do is use the pain that we feel and channel it to help us truly mourn the state that we're in; bereft of the BH"M, desolate and without Moshiach, and show that we are waiting and wanting.
And this time may the answer be "Yes."