What the Screw in My Tire Has to do with Tisha B'av – Kveller
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What the Screw in My Tire Has to do with Tisha B’av

In light of my post earlier this week about my HTC dying, our power going out, and the slug dying in my bathroom, here are a few other things that also happen to famous people.

1. Skunks die in the front bushes. And we don’t figure it out for three days and we keep looking for the source of the skunk smell but can’t find it. So our almost 8-year-old sons find it in two minutes of looking.

2. We find screws in our tires. As I was making a quick run to the grocery store with my kids, this happened. The quick run quickly became Mama filling the tires with air at a gas station (after getting quarters from the man behind the counter because of course AIR IS NOT FREE) because my beloved Audi A4 had a “low air” sensor. The filling the tires with air became, “Oh my gosh, that’s a screw in my tire,” which became, “Can I find a tire center open on Sunday before this tire blows?” which became hoping that the tire guy doesn’t rip me off and being happy that they patched the tire for $25 rather than making me buy two or–perish the thought!–four new tires. 

It’s almost Tisha B’Av, the most mournful day in the Jewish calendar. Tisha B’Av falls on Tuesday, and it is the only other 25 hour fast besides Yom Kippur in Judaism. Historical events that have occurred in the weeks preceding Tisha B’Av range from the destruction of the First Temple (586 BCE) to the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE) to the Bar Kochba revolt (132) to the beginning of the First Crusades (1492) to the start of the Inquisition (1290) to the start of the deportations from the Warsaw ghetto (1942). Auspicious times.

A skunk, screws in my tire, and even my phone dying and the power going out are nowhere near the immensity and gravity of the historical events leading up to Tisha B’Av. However, we are constantly given the opportunity–in great ways and small–to be humbled and brought to a simple level of understanding our powerlessness in the universe.

As Tisha B’Av nears, the complexity of our mortality becomes ever clearer. May the fast be light, may your grief be somehow meaningful, and may we always find new ways to revisit the historical and spiritual revelations that are the foundations of our heritage and tradition.

Tzom kal! (Easy fast!)

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