A Place of Hope
by S. G.
Perhaps it's because I was born in Switzerland that I always
think of the three weeks as a mountain tunnel, from which we
emerge, after a long drive, once again into the light of day.
The view can be quite splendid as one ascends a winding road
flanked by tall pines, leading to the crest of an alpine
mountain. Then, as we enter a tunnel and speed into the
darkness lit by artificial lamps, the breathtaking view is
hidden from us and we can easily forget that we are
From the 17th of Tammuz until after the 9th of Av, we mourn
with increasing strictures the destruction of our Holy
Temples, and all the tragedies that ever befell us as a
nation come into focus.
My parents, who were survivors of the Holocaust, spent the
war years in Europe, running from country to country in order
to evade the Germans. In 1943, with Hashem's help, they
finally managed to escape into Switzerland where they
remained until after the war. Eventually, they made their way
to America where the remainder of our family had
As children, Tisha B'Av made a great impression on us. For
although they had survived the war, my parents always mourned
the great number of close relatives and other Jews who had
not, and considred Tisha B'Av as their own Holocaust Day. The
sadness of that time was overwhelming and we would eagerly
await the month of Elul followed by the period of the
Festivals and their accompanying joy.
Aliya to Eretz Yisroel gave our family strength. My parents
had the privilege of having all of their children settle here
in Jerusalem and seeing their grandchildren growing in Torah
and Yiddishkeit. Their greatest pleasure was to go to the
Kosel on Shabbos and Yom Tov, and on Tisha B'Av, as well. But
their sadness was now bolstered by hope, relief, joy, for
they knew that they had finally reached home.