Last Sunday was Tisha B’Av, the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and in the history of the Jewish People. It commemorates the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, first by the Babylonians and then by the Romans. Tisha B’Av concludes a three week period of grave sadness and tragedy historically, as a tremendous number of horrific events began in the three weeks preceding this date (for a complete list, click here).
I happen to love Tisha B’Av for its intensity, its 25 hour dry fast (the only other such fast being on Yom Kippur), and for the earthy quality of our mourning: Jews sit in grief until it is a part of us, not resisting it, not being distracted from it, not running from it. For better or worse, that is our ancient tradition which still holds power in modern times. Read the rest of this entry →