Tonight we mark Tisha B'Av, our people's national day of mourning, commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temple on the same day.
As I reflect on the significance of this day, I am reminded of the many conversations I have had recently regarding the site of our ancient temple and of its western retaining wall – the Kotel.
The compromise that we reached was made possible only because every party was willing to make sacrifices in order to ensure that the Kotel is no longer the scene of internal strife. Everyone had solutions that they felt was more just or more fitting, but all were ready to compromise in order to reach a solution that would restore the Kotel as a site that can unite, rather than divide, the Jewish people. This experience has shown me that when we are able to place our common interests above particular considerations, we can avoid internal fissures and strengthen ourselves and our collective spirit.
Let us hope that this effort to bring an historic compromise at the most central place for us as a faith and a nation will bear fruit in the weeks to come.
May we all be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may we know no further sorrow.
Natan SharanskyNatan Sharansky's experience with the Kotel compromise earlier this year, showed him "that when we are able to place our common interests above particular considerations, we can avoid internal fissures and strengthen ourselves and our collective spirit."Inside the Jewish Agency