As a non-religious Jew who does not fast - but profoundly respects Jewish history and tradition - I was very disappointed with this article. Fasting is a legitimate form of mourning, and one which emphasizes rejection of personal pleasure for communal penitance. The Jewish religion and tradition is niot individualist, but collective; we are not Western Christian or Greek individualists, but Eastern communalists. And why are you unable to understand the profound historical importance of the loss of Jewish sovereignty - twice!? Or the almost mystical and certainly emotional importance of this date, on which not only two Temples were destroyed, but the Spanish Inquisition began? The re-conquest of Jewish sovereignty in the 20th Centruy was not meant to replace Jewish History tradition or culture -but to enhance them; to fulfill the very same national yearnings which these two great catstrophes might have destroyed. Were it not for the fact that the very wise leaders of the Jewish nation chose to learn from History; to remember and cherish or People's past - rather than forget and destroy history, as did other nations - the Jewish People would have long ago ceased to exist. \Remember Tisha B'av, in whatever way you see fit: by fast, by study - or even by watching televison programs. But never forget this date and the millions who died throughout the ages in order to keep the Jewish People and Jewish civilization alive, like a flame in a darkening room.
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Mideast Quartet will prepare report end of escalation, two-state solution (Haaretz)