Tisha B’Av (the midsummer day of Jewish mourning for the ancient Temples in Jerusalem, and of hope for a transformed future) falls this year, 2011, on Monday evening/Tuesday, August 8-9. In our generation, it can be focused on the endangered Earth as the sacred Temple of all Humanity.
Through The Shalom Center, Tamara Cohen has . . . → Read More: Lament & Hope for Earth: Tisha B’Av for Our Generation (by the Shalom Center and Tamara Cohen)
The idea that tragedy and disaster are punishment for our sins is alien to most most modern Jews. The author(s) of Eikhah believed that what happened to Zion was divine punishment. (This is one reason why it is hard to connect the Holocaust with what we mourn on Tish’a B’av.) Besides the obvious consolation of believing that the tragedy had meaning, the reader might also consider that for the ancients, the two choices were to believe that the destruction was punishment, or that God simply had no interest in them. It is easy to imagine why people would choose the image of a punishing God over the complete absence of God – though the latter possibility is suggested in the very last line of the text, before we go back to repeat the more comforting line “Turn us…” . . . → Read More: Megillat Eikhah (Lamentations) for Tisha B’Av by Rabbi David Seidenberg