Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This year I am not "doing" tisha b'av,  For various reasons I am not fasting, and the truth is, I m doing enough mourning this year I don't feel like I need to add anything else to it.  I am generally miserable enough.  I did not go to shul to hear "Eicha" because I have spent the last 5 months asking myself that very question.  Eicha?  God how could you do this to me?  How could you take the holy spark you sent me to care for and leave me broken and alone?

This year I do not need the wailing of kinot to remind me of what has been lost- I know first hand and I have felt true wailing from deep in my heart and not the sort that some wrote for me hundreds of years ago.  I have been a mother wailing for her child and I have seen sisters torn apart.  I have felt that which I loved wrenched from my arms.  What do I need today for?  To remind me of the pain of this last year?

Thanks, but no thanks.  I'll pass.

Today I am in pain- but not for a holy temple that was destroyed 2000 years ago.  I am aching for a soul that was destroyed 5 months ago and totally and completely as any that were lost fighting the Romans- the difference is that the lost soul took mine with it.

Look how she sits alone and forlorn.  No children playing in her streets.  No sounds of simcha in her alleys.  Does it speak of the old city left silent and alone one day to be rebuilt or the barren mother crying herself to sleep months later once the world has forgotten and gone back to its routine?  It does not sound like the hustling Jerusalem I know now with people going every which way.  It sounds like my home as my daughter grows up and shouts less and reads more.

So God, today, like most days, I mourn- but not for what you lost by taking the temple- you could give it back whenever the hell you want.  The only reason you have not is because you are behaving like a selfish child- "play by my rules or I am taking my ball and going home!"  You don't care how nice people are to each other.  How much we invite others over or try to help anyone in need.  You don't care if we learn and cry and pray- you can withold whatever it is that we want for reasons as simple as a school yard bully.

You want my attention?  Give something back for a change.  You want me to believe?  Show me that you are there and can do more than just take.  Show me that you can do more than behave like a toddler and for once in 2 millennia  show us you are listening to those who try to live good, moral, decent lives.

Lets play tit for tat.  Give and take.  You want me to care about what you have taken from others, lets see you care about what you have taken from me.


  1. There is a famous editorial showing graffitti on a wall....

    "God is dead !"

    Underneath it was written

    "Nietche is dead!"

    Its kind of tough to pick a fight with the creator of the universe...he holds the cards and its all his...to be flippant and think you have a chance to teach God a lesson is a bit naive even though we understand you are in pain...but in the final analysis Tisha B'av puts into perspective a personal loss versus the loss of hundreeds of thousands of lives during the destruction of Jerudalem - twice !

    Pain is good...it makes us realize that when we are not in pain there is love and life to compensate...its the equalizer in life...after all no one gets out without pain....so put it into its place, move on, make up with God, and begin to look for the good that He has provided including hope for a better tomorrow.

    Tzom Kal !!

  2. I don't think it's flippant at all, and can't really see how the pain of losing a child can be a positive thing. God is supposed to be listening, and this is the most honest and straight-forward message that can possibly be sent. Much more respectful, in my opinion, than going through the motions of prayer with no sincerity. In future years, there will be mental energy to reflect more on the community losses overall. This year, and for as many years as necessary, it is totally valid to concentrate on working through the tremendous loss of one child.