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Life

Breaking in Order to Build

July 18, 2018, by

Thinking about the upcoming observance of Tisha b’Av, I was struck by a bit of irony. (At least, I think it’s irony, though I’ve been a little paranoid ever since I heard a song mocking Alanis Morissette’s use of the word “ironic.” I comfort myself that I’m unlikely to make it so big that people

9 Questions for 9 Av

July 18, 2018, by

1. What is Tisha b’Av? Tisha b’Av – the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av – is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a number of tragedies that occurred on that date, most notably the destruction of both Temples, some five centuries apart. 2. Why did so many tragedies occur

“Why I Like Tisha B’Av”

July 26, 2017, by

Tisha B’Av is not everyone’s favorite day, but it is one of mine- not because it is enjoyable, but because of what it represents. I like Tisha B’Av because of what it says to me about Jews- that we are a people that remembers and knows its past leads to a future. There are so

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Fast Easier

August 8, 2016, by

Here are some quick tips to make your fast a bit more bearable: 1. The day before the fast begins, take frequent drinks of water. 2. Eat a balanced meal before the fast. Proteins and fats are absorbed more slowly than sugars and provide the necessary energy, but you should balance your meal with 55% complex carbohydrates,

The Jewish Heritage Experience

August 16, 2011, by

In retrospect, a lot has been said and written about enhancing the Tisha B’Av experience. For many of us the “loss” of our holy places is very abstract; we know that historically we’ve suffered national catastrophes, but feeling it on a personal level is another matter. For that reason, and for many years running, the

A Nation’s Loss: National Mourning in the Jewish Tradition

August 2, 2011, by

Grief is a fundamentally individual, transformative emotion. What can it mean to speak about “national grief, or national mourning”? Is there any calamity which a nation suffers that so alters its fundamental nature as to be truly analogous to the existential crisis the death of a loved one brings to an individual? Certainly, nations have

A Chronology of Destruction

July 26, 2011, by

The following is a list of the major events leading up to the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. First Temple 3316: Yehoyakim ben Yoshiyahu becomes King of Judea (II Kings 23:36) 3320: Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon conquers Judea. He removes part of the Temple’s holy vessels and children of the royal