Tisha B'Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It commemorates the destruction of both the first and second temples in Jerusalem, as well as other tragic events in Jewish history. When Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat (as it does this year) it gives us the opportunity to explore the essence of this collective day of mourning.
Although the exact date of the destruction of each of the Temples–the ancient centers of Jewish life and practice–are unknown, tradition dates the events to Tisha B’Av. Indeed, the rabbis of the Talmudic age made the claim that G-d ordained this day as a day of disaster as punishment for the lack of faith evidenced by the Israelites during their desert wanderings after the exodus from Egypt. During the course of the centuries, a number of tragedies have clustered around this day, from the expulsions of the Jews from England and Spain to more localized disasters. Tisha B’Av is therefore observed as a day of communal mourning, which is expressed through fasting and the abstention from pleasurable activities and extraneous diversions. A whole literature of dirges appropriate to this day of mourning, beginning with the biblical Book of Lamentations on the destruction of the First Temple, has been created to serve the needs of the Jewish community.
Steve Eidman will lead a brief Lunch and Learn discussion.
Lunch following Shabbat services (sandwiches from Our Daily Bread) will be provided at the Synagogue.