“On the seventeeth of Tammuz the wall was breached.”
City walls are now historical artifacts. But walled cities were all the rage in top-notch security. The wall was what protected the inside life of the Holy City from the outside world. Walls were rendered obsolete when gun powder and cannon balls were introduced to modern warfare. Can you imagine how that feels? You think you’ve got the best technology available to protect yourself, and then BANG! A new technology renders your old methods nothing more than a decorative fascination to tourists. But two thousand years ago, a wall that stood was a total protection, until someone figured out how to break it.
(Of course, if you are reading this the day it was posted, you will be familiar with other wall-building proposals. But this post is not about that wall.)
I think that this generation has seen its own version of wall breaching. The Grand Prize for Wall breaching goes to the Internet. A distant Second place finish goes to the television.
A family, and a village, used to be able to set some sort of barrier against the full onslaught of the flashiest the world has to offer and shove down our throats. The barrier, called, “Just turn it off”, or “Don’t buy a television”, or “They won’t let us in.” or “Don’t get cable” wasn’t always totally effective. But now, with computers being a practical necessity, those protections are quaint clichés of the past. The walls have been breached. For many American Orthodox Jews, the walls were never terribly high to begin with, so the cultural effect is powerful but not civilization-ending in nature.
Food for thought. At least that’s a form of food for today.