Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tisha B'Av

The 9th day of the month of Av began tonight.
Our tradition teaches that many major catastrophes have happened to the Jewish people on this date, foremost of which was the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple.
Religious, and some not so religious, Jews will be following the customs of mourning these next 24+ hours, including no food or water.
Many are at the Western Wall right now, sitting on the ground praying and reading Eicha. Many will stay there at the Kotel until morning prayers.
I sat on an old stone floor closer to home, in solitude, reading the pained words of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. In Hebrew it begins, "Eicha . . . " "Oh how . . ."
"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!"
I see Jerusalem on the distant hill and think of how she suffered. And wonder what future catastrophe she may yet have to endure.
A little more about Tisha B'Av is at my post of last year.
The Hebrew facing English text of this short and moving book of the Bible is here, just a click away. Please, join us.
UPDATE: A website just came to my attention where you can hear it chanted! Click on a chapter for Megillat Eicha at


CathM said...

Illuminating post! I really enjoyed the Lamentations text in Hebrew-English. Thanks for sharing.

Cloudia said...

"I see Jerusalem on the distant hill and think of how she suffered. And wonder what future catastrophe she may yet have to endure."

People don't understand this ancient story and so misunderstand what Israel is all about.

I love your blog and have added you to my brief blogroll!

Aloha, Sistah-

Comfort Spiral

Adam said...

Hi Dina, I am moved by the observance of this day. I had never heard of it. I just opened my Sacred Scripture to Lamentations to join you in prayer. Isn't it beautiful that we share the same history...and some of the same Sacred Scripture?

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, talk about injecting meaning into a mysterious (to me) book of the Bible. Thanks for the lesson.

spacedlaw said...

Great picture, Dina. This opening line is very poetic, the imagery in it very strong.

Sarah said...

I should say that really did not know about Irael befor making friend with you ;)

Hilda said...

You have just given new meaning to the book of Lamentations for me. I will bring out my bible later to read it more carefully than I have done in the past. Thank you.

RuneE said...

You have my sympathy, but so have all that are suffering.

PS Thank you for the comment - it might get a little crowded! :-)

JM said...

Very informative post. Thanks, Dina!

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Dina: What an interesting way to learn about your religous/cultural traditions and to be able to read the text was fascinating.
In the USA, we are so "multicultural" that I can't think of any prominent text that we associate with a given day.

I hope you will still find time to return on GDP's Sacred Sunday because we have a post we think you will find interesting.

By the was, "oldtiques" is not really a word. It is a way to hedge when you sell old items that aren't legitimately ANTIQUES! Many second-hand stores describe their items as "oldtiques."