Monday, July 19, 2010

Doing Tisha B'Av

I "do" Tisha B'Av...many would what, your Jewish,right?...well it appears that in my world, a Conservative Synagogue in suburban New York, compared to Yom Kippur, not so many take on the mitzvot of this day. I will go tonight, I will fast, I will go tomorrow.Yet I find this ritual hard. It is hard to fast no matter when it is done, but without the collective energy of the full community I find it harder. There is something empowering when we all do it together. I do try to summons up the energy to think about all the other Jews in the world who are participating in this ritual and use that to help, but there is something different about the power of the collective energy when you are in the middle of it.

Perhaps I am missing the point, but I also find it difficult to get "sad" for this day when thinking about it in the traditional way...the destruction of the Temples etc.... I tend to think about it as the day we use to remember all the suffering, all the pain and all the terrible things that have occurred to the Jewish people throughout the eons. I am basically very happy, I use the practice of mindfulness to help manifest more peace and more serenity in myself daily. To purposefully throw myself into sorrow, can be tough for me. There is enough current suffering in this world that I do not think we need to conjure up more. I am not an ostrich I know there is "bad stuff" happening everywhere, yikes even in my neighborhood...but to dwell on suffering is difficult. I prefer to think of it as honoring those who have suffered and honoring our collective traditions.

How do you do Tisha B'Av?

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Dunking Rachael

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