Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fast nights and slow days

The title sounds so pompous. And it's not even true. The night wasn't particularly fast, nor the day particularly slow. But enough chit-chat, it's time for action. Or at least the story of one man's Tisha Bav.

We ate. No meat, of course, which is really OK, because who wants to eat meat before a fast? Besides me of course? Then came Maariv and Eicha. One of the beautiful things about the ninth of Av is this whole thing about little chairs. You know, the type they have in preschools. In fact, the chairs we all sat on were from the Chabad preschool. But perhaps "sat" is too strong a word for what we actually did. Back when I was a little tyke in, oh, first grade, my family lived in beautiful Mequon, Wisconsin. We were eating a Shabbos meal at a family (who shall remain nameless) and I sat down on a little plastic chair they had in the basement. Remember, I was seven years old. The chair broke. So here we are thirteen years later, sitting on the same size chair, praying to the One Above that we all survive. It's not like the things are comfortable anyway. They're really not. And that, my friends, is the whole point of Tisha Bav - suffering for the destruction of the two Temples.

Despite the mournful mood, we didn't say tachnun (penitential prayers). Tisha Bav is also a bit of a holiday, and will be even more so with the coming of the Messiah speedily in our days Amen, so it's simply not appropriate to ask for forgiveness for all our many sins.

Oh yeah, I also got in a good six hour nap today. The gain of which I'm now wasting at 1:45 AM.

But Tisha Bav is not all about pain and sleep. It's about something far, far greater. For more info, see (shameless plug again) this article by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg.

Back on the road very, very soon.