The United Nations and Hizbollah are best buds. Check out the pictures.
Otherwise, all is thank G-d going well here. Tonight I went to a Breslover class/shiur. Very interesting points were made. The point that struck me was about finding joy in pain.
Mind you of course Simcha doesn't exactly translate to Joy, and Tzar doesn't exactly translate to pain, but it'll have to do. It's a very difficult concept especially when we're involved in the pain. This is my own understandings and spinoff of what he was saying since it was in Hebrew and I was doing my best to understand.
Right now we're going through a painful process here in Israel, but there will be an end. All of Jewish history/and general history will come to an end at some point. At that end point we will finally be able to see the point of the tzar that we had to go through. The rabbi speaking, Rabbi Doron, said that we do not fully understand Joy unless we understand Pain.
A metaphor that I think is easier to understand is physical therapy. My physical therapist put me on a bicycle and told me to pedal. Since my knee was not bending far enough to make a full rotation of the pedals, she told me to go forward as far as I could, then go the other direction. The stationary bike was not my friend.
A couple weeks later (going 3 times a week), I was moving the pedals back and forth (slowly and painfully) when all of a sudden I did a full rotation. This doesn't mean that it didn't hurt, but it did mean that I was getting more motion in my knee. I actually cried from being happy when I did the full rotation. I realized that I was progressing - up till that moment, the bike was my enemy, now it was my friend and nothing to be afraid of. I still remember crying at that moment.
I think that the same thing is true of Jewish history. My goal in PT was to get my knee back to 100% mobility and strength (I'm still working on it). It's easier to keep this goal in mind over a four month period than it is to keep focus on a goal over a 4,000 year period. We are unable to see past the pain of what the Jewish People have gone through and see the goal which we've been aiming for.
If I were on the bike in pain with no idea why I was there, it would have been a horrible experience (even with an idea it was uncomfortable). We need to somehow realize that the pain we've been through is for a reason. We don't always know why, but somehow it makes us stronger and brings us closer to the coming of Moshiach. Rabbi Tauber mentioned at the Shmirat HaLashon (Guarding Our Speech) gathering that we have more merits than we did Egypt when we were taken out. At this point in history we are actually in good shape, why isn't G-d redeeming us? Like the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, we're at the point that we're just shining the buttons on the uniform. We're a soldier waiting for inspection and we're just about cleaned up and the last thing to shine are the buttons.
It's time to love each other as Jews. This war in Lebanon has united the Jews in Israel and across the world like I've never seen before. Jews under attack in Haifa are finally understanding what the Gush Katif (Gaza) Jews went through when they were thrown out of their homes. Sometimes we need a push in order to properly feel for each other.
This is my take on one of many points he made tonight. Hope it made sense.