Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tisha B'av Live!

As promised, I'm currently blogging live. Is it possible to blog in any other manner? Probably not, but that's hardly the point. It's Tisha B'Av, the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. There's a famous story about some Chassidim who were horsing around on the afternoon of Tisha B'Av. They gathered on the roof of the Beis Medrash and strung a looped rope down, which allowed them to intercept anyone trying to enter the house of learning and raise them to the roof. All was going well until the Chassidim lifted up their next victim and saw with surprise that it was their Rebbe. As far as I recall it was the holy Ruzhiner, but I'm not quite sure. Anyway, they see him, and mortified, quickly let go. After he dusted himself off the Rebbe turned to the heavens and said, "Hashem! Your children aren't keeping the holiday you've given them. Take it away!"

Seems to me that back in the day people knew how to live better. I can see Chassidim pulling this kind of stunt, but no Rebbe would ever think to come up with a line like that. Self-righteous bloggers (you know who you are) would immediately post about the destruction of Judaism, and there'd be comparisons of the group to Lubavitch and Breslav. The anti-establishment bloggers (ditto) would become huge fans of the Rebbe and be greatly shocked when he goes in and Davens Mincha afterwards.
Back in the day, there were all sorts of crazy Chassidic groups doing all sorts of crazy shtuff; the joke "Acharei Mos-Kedoshim" (after they die they become holy) really comes to mind here. Even the Misnagdim knew how to have a good time. Chassidim bothering you? Crack some heads as you chuck 'em out of the city. Chassidim still being a pain? Rat on them to the authorities.

Getting back to Tisha B'Av, it seems to me that people are taking this whole thing way too seriously. Yes, bean throwing is still a popular past time, but is that really enough? Some people may accuse me of cultural insensitivity. A couple of weeks ago I posted some comments on Frum Satire which were deemed insensitive, and I immediately apologized, because I of course never had any intentions of hurting anyone. Will anyone be mad at me if I make some jokes about Tisha B'Av? The off-color jokes I made last time were about Sephardim and ritual killing; since we're all descendants of people who were harmed in the making of Tisha B'Av (well, most of us anyway), will anything interesting happen?
Please don't think that I'm not celebrating Tisha B'Av in the Halachicly-proscribed manner. I'm sitting, uncomfortably, on a low chair, without cushions, wearing uncomfortable Crown Heights plastic shoes, pining for a pizza, and generally mourning the loss of a magnificent piece of architecture. Still, is there no room for a little laughter? Search Google and you won't come up with much. Seems that the Jews, normally big fans of little jokes, have become stiffer than barium titanate and molten tin. I'm hereby calling on all Jews with a conscience, or better yet a sense of humor, to come up with some funny jokes for Tisha B'Av. The prize? One laugh is worth more than a million dollars. Now you know.

19 comments:

E said...

I think the story about the chassidim pulling the rebbe onto the roof is in sefer haminhagim.

E said...

Here is my two cents on being happy on 9 av. its in the same category as praying after midday. neither of the said practices has a shred of support from traditional jewish sources, yet both are considered virtuous by our community. In the back of ones mind, one intuitively feels that there is a good explanation for this phenomenon, but most people never think about it consciously long enough to realize that none exists.

E said...

Oh! The paradoxes of being Lubavitch!

mm said...

Why is it called Tisha b'av?
Cuz the "tish is above"

The Real Shliach said...

1. If you say so.
2. None at all? What are the righteous women of 770?
3. Quite.
4. You made that up yourself?

The Real Shliach said...

I was reminded of Rabbi Mendel Feller's favorite joke this morning:

Tisha B'Av is the biggest conference out there? Why? Because on Tisha B'Av, everyone is a keynote speaker.

e said...

The righteous women of 770 probably could not get a clean bill of mental health. They probably also can't read a Shulchan Aruch in Hebrew.

The Real Shliach said...

Any person who frequents this blog couldn't pass a mental health check either.
Shulchan Aruch? Since when did Righteous Women of 770 need to follow Shulchan Oruch? They have the Melech HaMoshiach guiding their every step!

e said...

My point precisely.

YG said...

why do you go in to stupid politics (loshen horah)

The Real Shliach said...

What do you mean YG? It's fun for the whole family!

e said...

fun≠kosher
די גאנצע תפקיד פון חסידות איז לשנות טבע מידותיו.

The Real Shliach said...

Typical reactionary Chareidi comment.

e said...

...and fully in line with the texts you claim your religion is based on.

The Real Shliach said...

Claims? Who's claiming anything here?

e said...

Presumptuous TRS, that's who.

The Real Shliach said...

Interesting, interesting (strokes his beard)...

e said...

...and bloody true. I should have included mentioned Lababvs' love of speaking L"H last night while describing things that we consider virtuous but go against judasim

The Real Shliach said...

You know the famous story...it just happens.