Monday, July 19, 2010

The Eve of Tisha BeAv

Today is the 8th day of Av

Tisha BeAv, the day of national Jewish morning, begins tonight, Monday July 19th at 8:15 P.M.
This evening, we do the Seuda Mafseket, the last meal before the day-long fast.

This is virtually 'a mourners meal' based on bread, eggs, lentils, water (there are many variations, according to different family traditions) where we refrain even from eating two different 'dishes' to show our sense of austerity and internalize that we are consuming only what is needed to endure the fast.
The ancient custom is that everyone eats in solitude, with no zimun, sitting on a low seat.
A personal note: even though I'm going to spend Tish BeAv looking directly at the ruins of our Bet haMikdash, I must confess that it is difficult to feel 'today' in Israel a sense of destruction and desolation…. Yersuhalaim, the Old City, the Kotel they're so beautiful and full of life!

My Tisha BeAv mission will be 1. To think about our ancestors and feel/remember/cry for 'their' tremendous suffering. 2. To understand that the Shekhina, the Divine Presence, dwells in the Bet haMikdash, our Holy Temple, which hasn't been rebuilt yet (Galut haShekhina). 3. To realize that we still need to amend our behavior, especially, in the area of 'love your fellow man as yourself' if we expect to see our third Bet haMikdash rebuilt.

Have an easy and meaningful fast!!!
Summary of Laws and traditions of Tisha BeAv: