The Three Weeks

Here in Israel we have just entered the Three Weeks. No, not the period of mourning and reflection from the 17th of Tamuz to the 9th of Av. I’m referring to the 21-day period, allowed for by Israeli law but never before activated, in which, following two party leaders’ unsuccessful attempts to form a new government, the power to do so passes to any Member of the Knesset who can collect 61 signatures of support.

Is there anything we can do so that, unlike the more familiar Three Weeks, this period will not end in calamity—in this case, a pointless and wasteful third election?

I have a modest suggestion.

On December 12, the day after these 21 days are set to run out, a fateful election will be held in the United Kingdom. The Jewish community there is particularly, and rightly, worried about the outcome.

Our Sages teach (Bava Kama 92a) that when one prays on another’s behalf for something they both need, the one who prays will be answered first. Let us pray for the well-being of our brothers and sisters in the UK. Perhaps our prayers will be heeded, and the political crises both here and there will end happily.

About the Author
Philip Reiss is an Associate Professor in the University of Haifa Department of Statistics. He made aliyah, with his wife and their three children, in 2015.
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