Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tisha B'Av Blogburst

A few posts so far that caught my eye... feel free to leave more in the comments or via e-mail. The blockquotes below are only excerpts of excellent posts - make sure to read the full versions.


For those wishing to give charity, Elder of Ziyon is still matching funds to certain charities. As I write this, they [he and another donor] have $1,362.40 (x2) of their goal of $2,000. Yiasher Kochachem.

Harry Maryles remembers his father's trevails during the Holocaust:
The police and Nazi authorities surrounded the bunker, firing their guns all over the place. The fellow responsible for the revealing footsteps curiously stuck out his head from the bunker to see what was going on and was immediately shot and killed. Aaron realized that they were doomed and thinking quickly on his feet, told everyone to jump into the hole in the ground that had been used as a toilet. But there was not enough room for everyone. My father’s oldest son could not fit in.
MentalBlog (Tzemach Atlas) has images from many of the funerals for the soldiers that have happened over the last couple of weeks. Look at them, stare at them, cry with them. They are us.

Jameel laments about the leadership of today:
The stated cause of the destruction of the Second Temple 2000 years ago, was that of "sin'at chinam" -- baseless hated among the Jewish people. For the past 3 weeks since the start of the war, I have tried to to put politics aside, and let the Israeli Prime Minister run the war as best as he sees fit.

I have encouraged a united front, and encouraged Jews around the world to unite against our common enemy -- so that we bring our kidnapped IDF soldiers safely home, remove the missile threat of Hizbolla from South Lebanon, and instill the fear of the IDF into the Palestinians in Gaza, so that they realize it's not worthwhile to shoot rockets at Israel.

However, tonight, I can no longer remain silent.
Mystical Paths reminds us that in every generation, they hate us. A simple joke song in a bar can expose the anti-Semitism that lurks beneath... right here in the US.

On the Main Line reminds us what's important in his own style.

Rafi G discusses one of the Kinos we read tomorrow, Kina 23:
In 23 we will be lamenting the story of the children of R’ Yishmael Ben Elisha. The paytan relates the tragic story of how these 2 children, a son and a daughter were captured by separate captors. The captors were bragging to each other about the special beauty each one saw in his respective captive. They came up with a plan to have the two captives mate and they would share the offspring, which they assumed would be tremendously beautiful children.

Truly a tragic story. But it is difficult, at least for me, to relate to a story of a kidnapping from about 2000 years ago and be moved to tears.

If one has a hard time relating to a story from so long ago and crying about it and simply reads it as a tragic story, there is no lack of similar stories from more modern times.

DovBear wonders what day it really happened... and suggests we mourn the type of people we lack.

Neil Harris gets the point:
This could have been said after the first or second Temples' were destoyed. It could have been said by someone surrounded by idol worship, immorality, murder, or baseless hatred on all sides. By someone who gave into their Yetzer Hara, even if only once. It could have been said yesterday. Try as we might, we need Hashem now more than ever to protect us from our ememies. Those that surround the borders of Israel, and those that surround the borders we make for ourselves.

Victor, the janitor of a shul I use to daven in, once told me that you've got to have a thunderstorm before you can see a rainbow. I hope that's the case. May our Galus end with song, dance, and victory.

UPDATE1, from earlier posts:
Yitz of Heichal Hanegina is guest-posting at Shiloh Musings, and he found this letter to the world - now with its own video. Excellent.

Yitz (via A Simple Jew) also points to a sad, excellent short video. I saw this last year, and sadly, it needed to be updated. It will definitely put you in a proper Tisha B'Av state.

A few places pointed to this piece by Josh Yuter from a few years ago... a quick glance looks good, I'll read the rest later.

EDIT: Read it - incredible piece.
In the Haftara we read the shabbat before 9 Av, Yeshayahu Ha-Navi chastizes Israel for essentially missing the point of their religion. Benei Yisrael were giving the sacrifices and performing all the rituals, but they were morally corrupt. Like we do today, Israel subsituded external rituals for internal commitment.

It's easy to accept prohibitions and to have it look like we're doing it for God. It's much harder look within ourselves and try to change and improve ourselves - as individuals and as a community - to undo the hurban for which we are mourning.
Please, read the whole post.
UPDATE2: R' Gil wishes everyone an easy fast... and leaves everyone to find their own meaningfulness. Interesting perspective.

  • Jewschool highlights a New York Times article that discusses the potential dangers of fasting in the record heat. ( )