This coming Monday, July 15th, marks the beginning of the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av), a day when we recall the destruction of both Jerusalem Temples, among other moments of loss in Jewish history.
In addition to destruction of the Temples, tradition has suggested that the following tragedies occurred on Tisha B'av: the negative report of the spies in the desert, the fall of Betar (the last holdout of the Jewish people in the Bar Kochba Revolt), the edict for the Spanish expulsion of Jews, and the beginning of World War I. Historicity is perhaps less important than meaning here. Tisha B'Av is a day of loss. It is, simply said, a very sad day for the Jews.
On Tisha B'Av we refrain from eating, drinking, bathing, intimacy, wearing leather shoes, and learning Torah (except for topics pertaining to the day). This year our community will mark Tisha B'Av in the following ways:
Tonight - Erev Tisha B'Av (Monday, July 15): We will meet in the CNS Library at 8:15 pm for Ma'ariv and for the Book of Eicha, followed by a few of the Kinot, traditional sad-songs. People should bring flashlights, and prepare to sit on the floor (if possible), as it is a traditional sign of mourning, which Tisha B'Av is for the entire Jewish People. We will say the service, not sing it. The tone for this evening is unique in the Jewish tradition - soft, sad, and somber. There is an additional tradition to not reach out to those around us, not even to greet others, sequestering ourselves somehow to alone-ness despite gathering together. It is both magical and painful. (Note: Tisha B'Av fast begins at 8:26 pm on 7/15)
Yom Tisha B'Av (Tuesday, July 16): We will be joining together with Congregation Beth Israel for Shacharit starting at 8:00 am at Beth Israel (1630 Bancroft Way, Berkeley), where services will follow the customs of Beth Israel. Following Shacharit and Kinot there will be learning sessions at 10:00 am, including one taught by our CNS Rabbinic Intern Josh Buchin.
Community Learning Schedule
@ CBI,1630 Bancroft Way on Tuesday, July 16
Sanctuary 10:00 am R. David Kasher: "Is there Any Hope?" 11:00 am: R. Eliahu Klein: "A Day in the Life of An American Prison Rabbi: Is There Antisemitism Behind the Wall?"
12:00 pm: Na'man Kam: "Eicher Yashvo Badad-- the loneliness of the mourner"
10:00 am R. Mimi Weisel :" From the Depths: Musings of the lshbitzer Rebbe on Eìcha"
11:00 am: R. Gabriel Greenberg
12:00 pm: Josh Buchin: "The Lord Has Given and the Lord Has Taken Away: Understanding suffering on Tisha B'Av"
Tisha B'Av Minchah at Netivot Shalom (Tuesday, July 16): We will gather at 7:30 pm in the CNS Library for Minchah and Torah Service. Unique to this Minchah Service is the practice of wearing Tallit and Teffilin (traditionally not worn on the morning of Tisha B'Av). Minchah marks the start of the shift in the somber mood of Tisha B'Av towards the joy of Tu B'Av (the 15th of Av, a day, according to the tradition, of festivity and love) and the seven weeks of consolation. (Note: Tisha B'Av fast ends at 9:05 pm on 7/16)
Tradition teaches us that those who remember the destruction of Jerusalem and feel the brokenness of the world will be part of their rebuilding.
May that be so, soon and in our days, Rabbi Creditor and CNS Rabbinic Intern Josh Buchin