OU’s Annual Tisha B’Av Program Will Address Current COVID-19 Pandemic and its Impact on the Jewish Community

17 Jul 2020

Rabbi Steven Weil and Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb to Headline Event

NEW YORK – The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, will address the current COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Jewish community in its 19th annual Tisha B’Av program, among other topics and kinot prayers. The virtual program will take place Thursday, July 30th.

OU Senior Managing Director Rabbi Steven Weil will speak from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern on “Reliving the Tragedy,” reflecting and attempting to rebuild the Jewish people and our relationship with G-d through the study of the Tisha B’Av kinot. OU Executive Vice President, Emeritus Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb’s shiur will be available all day for those in different time zones and is meant to be listened to after mincha. His shiur is entitled “Reflections on Recovery, Resilience, and Redemption,” focusing on the theme of nechama and consolation, appropriate to the afternoon of Tisha B’Av. He will lead recitations of some of the lesser known kinot. Rabbi Weinreb will connect the themes of the kinot to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. He will discuss grief and mourning from Torah and psychological perspectives, and he will conclude with words of encouragement and hope.

“We are directed to spend the day of Tisha B’Av reflecting on the destruction of two Holy Temples, and on our longing to re-attain the closeness to God that the Holy Temples, and the service within, helped us access. The mourning of Tisha B’Av is communal, and doing so together is core to its observance. One of the tragedies of COVID-19 is that it has frustrated our ability join together in person as a community, in prayer, in mourning and in joy. As we observe Tisha B’Av this year, we should take advantage of opportunities to connect to each other at least virtually, and both mourn our tragic losses together as a community, and remind ourselves of the redemption that we confidently anticipate and pray for.” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have looked for ways to support Jewish communities around the country. Our annual Tisha b’Av program is consistently accessed by thousands of individuals, in addition to its serving as the centerpiece of the day’s program in many shuls. This year, when many shuls will not be able to be at full capacity due to the pandemic, this offering will be of even greater value to both shuls and individuals,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer. “Rabbi Weinreb and Rabbi Weil’s messages are always profoundly relevant, instructive and inspiring, and their focus on the current worldwide challenge of COVID will undoubtedly benefit us all.”

The OU is proud to have ASL interpreters for this event. For more information or to register, please visit: https://www.ou.org/tishabav/.

Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs.