Jul 16, 2021

A blessing for Tisha Be'av

I've often noticed the contrast between Yom Kippur and Tisha Be'Av. Their observances are similar; their intents are not. Yom Kippur's promises of return, of forgiveness, of reconnection stand starkly different from Tisha Be'Av's ritually enforced sadness and loneliness ("Jerusalem sits alone," as we read in the Book of Lamentations).

Given those modes of exile and return and given the 16 months we've all been through (and the urgent work ahead), I offer these blessings to us all before this pre-Tisha Be'Av Shabbat, also known as the Shabbat of Vision/Chazon:

May loneliness be met with reconnection.
May our collective vision restore so much that's been broken.
May our actions help the world become a kinder place.
May we not hesitate.



here's the poem. (thank you, Josh.)

"Don't Hesitate"
by Mary Oliver

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case.
Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.


photo: 'You're not alone' by Dionne White

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