I usually have a very difficult time fasting - hope everyone else has an easy fast tomorrow.
I think there is one message that is not communicated so well in the way 9 Av is taught and learned about, at least judging from my kids' education. We have the wrong impression that living in a nice home in NY is "normal", and the Jewish people living united on their homeland is some dream that can only take place through a great miracle. MaHaRaL writes just the opposite: galus is abnormal. Only because of Hashem's miraculous intervention have we been able to survive 2000 years spread across the globe outside our natural homeland - the "normal" state of the Jewish nation is to be united in our own homeland. Galus is like a rubber band stretched to its limit and poised to snap back - only the force holding it in place prevents that from happening. One cannot compare a pauper who dreams of riches and an escape from his life to a prince who has been exiled from the palace and yearns for a return to his rightful place. Remove the force and the rubber band snaps back; remove the spiritual obstacles holding us down and the Jewish nation naturally will return united to its homeland. Lets work to make it happen.