In the meantime, Jerusalem is a ghost town.
More and more shops have been quietly fading and failing over the last two years, since the 'stabbing intifada' really took off. Even though things have been 'relatively' quiet the last year until this current wave of unrest, every additional attack in Jerusalem has just cemented the idea that the capital city is kinda dangerous at the moment, especially in the minds of people who watch a lot of news and don't actually live here.
But the last two weeks, it's definitely gone up some levels. Whenever you can get a parking space easily at Machane Yehuda market at 10.00am Friday morning, you know that people are staying away from Jerusalem in their droves.
I live about a 15 min walk from the Kotel, and 5 minutes out from the Old City. Even though I know a lot of stuff is going on - primarily because trying to drive in or around the Old City is a bit of a nightmare at the moment, and the police are out in force on the streets - it doesn't actually feel like anything much is happening, except for how unusually quiet it is on the streets.
At least, not on the physical, day-to-day level.
But spiritually, it seems to me that things can't carry on like this for much longer. The pressure that's building in the air has been there for years already, and it's not just because the Palestinians are rioting on the Temple Mount. The spiritual pressure is causing the riots, and not the other way around.
Yesterday, I drove out to a part of the so-called West Bank to see where one of my daughter's will be going to school next year. It's a beautiful part of the country, and almost completely deserted. Very few Jews live there, and even fewer Arabs. There's barely a tree for miles - but the ground is very fertile!
The whole area could be a lush, green paradise if only more Jews would live there, and the government would open it up to settlement. There's is SO much room in Israel still, but because we're being governed by secular politicians who don't believe in Hashem, and who put far more store in keeping US presidents happy than they do in obeying the Creator of the world, at the moment these places are effectively 'off limits'.
Long term, things can't continue like this. Long term, the population in Israel is getting more and more observant, and more and more interested in returning to their religious roots. The religious families are getting bigger and bigger, and they need somewhere to live. The very small, virulently secular minority that's ensconced in pretty much every position of power in the country, both publicly and in a more hidden way, can't stem the tide for too much longer.
More and more people are seeing through the facade of 'democracy' and 'politics' and tachlis, the reality on the ground is that Israel's burgeoning frum population and sky-rocketing house prices are going to force a change in the 'status quo' regardless of how inconvenient that's going to be for the secular elite.
Is that process going to kick off now, with more unrest at the Temple Mount?
I don't know. Time will tell.
What I can tell you is that Palestinian terrorism nearly always start in the Old City, and then radiates out towards the rest of the country. More and more, the people of Israel are ready for the status quo to change in a radical way. I also believe that Hashem's patience for the more 'wayward' Jews is tapering off, and that He may be moving into a more 'active' phase again of encouraging people to make teshuva by turning the mountain over their heads.
Yesh Din, and Yesh Dayan.
The last thing to mention is that I've been trying so hard to get on top of my sinat chinam issues - like jealousy, hatred, anger and hakpada - but it's been really tough going this week. The pressure in the air is getting to me, the unremitting heat is getting to me, the uncertainty of whether geula is actually kicking off, or whether this is just another 'false flag' event and things are going to continue on like this for another 200 years is really getting to me.
Yesterday, I realised I was super jealous about a whole bunch of stuff, and still really hating a whole bunch of people.
In effect, my sinat chinam is still holding up the re-building of the Temple, exactly as we're taught, that in every generation where the Temple isn't rebuilt, we should know that's because we ourselves are continuing to display the sins that caused its destruction.
I'm really trying to uproot this stuff but man, it's slow going. I don't think all my jealousy is going to have magically dissolved between now and Tisha B'av...
So what does that mean?
I don't know.
But for the next couple of days, I'm holding my breath.