Culture Minister Chili Tropper, a religious member of Blue and White, shared a conversation he had with Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tisha B’Av, amid Operation Breaking Dawn.
“Now that the guns have fallen silent, I’ll share a moment from the cabinet meeting on Motzei Shabbos, the evening of Tisha B’Av,” Tropper wrote. “The meeting continued for a long time and naturally participants went out from time to time to make themselves coffee or drink something. Legitimate, of course, for people who don’t fast or people who usually fast but now amid a battle, need to maintain 100% concentration.”
“And I see that Benny, already bleary-eyed from long hours without sleep, isn’t drinking anything. And I know how much coffee he usually drinks. I told him that in my opinion, he shouldn’t fast. His responsibility requires him to be completely alert since he’s busy with matters of pikuach nefesh.”
“He answered me that on an evening like this he doesn’t drink in public. When he needs coffee or a cup of water to stay alert, he tries to drink in his office and not in front of others. ‘It’s a fast day, a significant day in our history, and even if I can’t fast this year, I won’t drink in public,’ he said.”
“Later in the evening, at the end of the meeting, he went into another room and took out printed pages from Megillas Eichah from his folder of intelligence materials and invited me to read them with him.”
“This is after a sleepless night and prior to another sleepless night. His responsibilities are enormous and the needs are endless but in the language of Benny: ‘There’s a war tonight but tonight is also Tisha B’Av.'”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)