10 Av 5771
UPDATE: Although the stock market ended up yesterday, gaining back almost half of what it lost the day before, after an initial plunge at opening, this is really not a healthy sign and it's not the prime indicator of where the economy is going. While the stock market was up, the dollar was down, waaaay down...
(Bloomberg) "The dollar tumbled the most in at least 40 years against the Swiss franc after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep its key interest rate at a record low at least through mid-2013 to revive the flagging economic recovery. ...It dropped as much as 6.3 percent, the most since the beginning of Bloomberg records in January 1971, touching a record low 70.71 centimes."
See also Why This Crisis Differs From the 2008 Version
9 Av 5771
While Yirmiyahu writes of the destruction of the first Beit HaMikdash at the hands of the Babylonians, in chapter four of Eichah we find an allusion not only to the destruction of the second Temple by Rome, but also to the end of the final exile and Rome's (Edom's) ultimate destruction.
"Rejoice and exult, O daughter of Edom, who dwells in the land of Utz; to you, too, will the cup pass, you will be drunk and vomit. Your iniquity is expiated, O daughter of Zion. He will not exile you again; He remembers your iniquity, daughter of Edom. He will uncover your sins." (Eichah 4.21-22)
I think we have reached this point this year---9 Av 5771. And how appropriate that it be just now on Tisha b'Av. Just take a look at what is going on in the US and England.
Yesterday saw the second biggest point drop in the US stock market in history and who knows what is in store for today. It was second only to the 777-point drop of Rosh Hashanah 5769 which kicked-off the current "economic crisis."
Not convinced America is the current incarnation of Rome? Think again. Dan Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol, may be a work of fiction, but the details are all true.
"America has a hidden past. ...The forefathers who founded [Washington, DC] first named her "Rome." They named her river the Tiber and erected a classical capital of pantheons and temples, all adorned with images of history's great gods and goddesses---Apollo, Minerva, Venus, Helios, Vulcan, Jupiter. In her center, as in many of the great classical cities, the founders had erected an enduring tribute to the ancients---the Egyptian obelisk. This obelisk, larger even than Cairo's or Alexandria's rose 555 feet into the sky, more than thirty stories, proclaiming thanks and honor to the demigod forefather for whom this capital took its newer name. Washington.
"Now, centuries later, despite America's separation of church and state, this state-sponsored Rotunda glistened with ancient religious symbolism. There were over a dozen different gods in the [Capital] Rotunda---more than the original pantheon in Rome. Of course, the Roman Pantheon had been converted to Christianity in 609...but this pantheon was never converted; vestiges of its true history still remained in plain view.
" '...this Rotunda was designed as a tribute to one of Rome's most venerated mystical shrines. The Temple of Vesta. ...the largest painting in this building is called The Apotheosis of Washington. And it clearly depicts George Washington being transformed into a god.' "
(You can google any of these things and see for yourself.)
And while we're at it, let's not forget how Tisha b'Av got started. Am Yisrael listened to an evil report against the Land of Israel and cried for nothing, refusing to go up at Hashem's command. While today, the forerunner of America and her partner in crimes against the Jewish people---England---is burning instead of Jerusalem and the great American Empire is itself crumbling and falling, if you are a Jew living in these places, I beg you to correct that first catastrophic sin that brought about all the other tragedies on this date. Come home where you belong, where Hashem intended you to be. Let's all stop crying and simply obey the Ribono shel Olam.