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The Month of Av

The Month of Av

Tisha B'Av and Tu B'Av

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I’m ashamed to say this: Today, I saw a man on the street, black and elderly, splayed on his back, his cane awkwardly wedged behind his knee, eyes half-open, not moving a muscle, and I just kept walking.
Some have it more, some have it less, but everyone has this unique gift—a treasure box of creativity that converts the “I can’t” into something beautiful.
We feel stuck and frustrated. Why isn’t G‑d answering us?
Despite the obvious rawness of the environment, I could not help but think about the potential this apartment had.
In life we have challenges, and these challenges bring you either closer or further apart.
From Passover to Tisha B’Av
For a large part of my life, I have felt out of sync with my surroundings. On one hand, I guess the sense of disconnect pushed me to go deeper within, but on the other hand it created obvious dissonance. I even felt it when I discovered the magic of the Jewish holidays . . .
Tu B’Av, a day of rejoicing, a day of love, a day on which evil decrees were lifted and miraculous events occurred, is preceded six days earlier by Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the year, on which the First and Second Temples were destroyed, among other calamities. This interval of time is so short that one could view these events as being interconnected . . .
A Tisha B’Av Insight
Does my generation, witnessing skyrocketing divorce rates and illicit affairs plastered across the media, even believe that true love is possible? Do we realize what we are missing?
I believe. I have to believe. If I don’t believe, I am left with nothing. I believe, because how can I not?
The questions roll forth from my little one’s lips. Questions. And I need to supply the answers.
The Three Weeks
The Kabbalah of the Three Weeks: a buried seed of goodness, a 21-day almond wood, walls that protect and walls that imprison, the pregnant Tet, and a cosmic birth that puts history to rights.
My personal mourning mingles with the mourning of centuries, with the loss of our Temple, a physical house in which to receive the presence of G‑d. Grief layers upon grief...
I think of the caterpillars we watched as children, seeing them lift-and-crunch from tail to fore as they jerk across a leaf. And I wonder if, standing beside the white or yellow line painted along the tar of Jaffa Street, onlookers felt they'd missed a step as the tractor crunched and swung for death...
Understanding Tisha B'av
Why do the Jewish people continue to mourn and weep year after year? Isn't there such a thing as live and let go? Be happy with the moment and forget the past?
The Holiday of Tu B'av
There were no greater festivals for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur. On these days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out... and dance in the vineyards. And what would they say? "Young man, raise your eyes and see which you select for you..."
Celebrating Tu B’Av
Two of the most basic of shapes, yet two extremely deep and complex ideas. Feminine and masculine. The circle and the line . . .
A Tu B'Av Birthday and the Power of Renewal
My Hebrew birth date is the 15th of Av, Tu b'Av-- a joyous occasion representing the ending of many poignant events in our history, and therefore representative of many new beginnings. To me this is indeed auspicious as there is a certain thread linking all of these events together...
Our Visit to Normandie
I didn't realize the number of soldiers who died here, nor did I comprehend how young they were. I found myself having trouble breathing a lot of the time...
Rebuilding After the Holocaust
My mother’s behavior was not unique. To be a child of a survivor means being hyper-vigilant, as though this act of vigilance could keep the wolves from their prey . . .
Fish, dairy, vegetarian and vegan recipes for the Nine Days, when we abstain from eating meat and chicken.
When the Nine Days come, the parent of a food-allergic child tends to get even more creative than usual . . .
Although the Jewish year is filled with wonderful holidays in abundance several times a year—six, to be precise—we fast. Some people find fasting quite arduous, so there are some pointers that can help ease the fast-related hunger pangs.
“Can’t you get along? You guys are always fighting!”
Shabbat Chazon
The vision which we see on Shabbat Chazon is to inspire a change so fundamental that we will turn that vision of the Third Temple into actual physical reality . . .
Jewish history is anything but tragic. It is a tale of hope, faith and optimism, of strength, morality and light triumphing despite the harshest circumstances.
The other night it hit me—there is a difference between pain and anguish.
Don’t we all know what it’s like to be waiting for something?
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