Thank you for being part of our collective journey in building this kehillah (community). May the path ahead lead to
growth and be a source of inspiration, compassion, love and blessing.
I look forward to welcoming you back next Friday for Kabbalat Shabbat on August 9
at the earlier-than-usual time
of 7:00 p.m. The High Holy Days season starts with a meaningful and thought-provoking Selichot program on Saturday
night, September 21
. Please check Kehillah Connections for more information.
Read on to learn more about the Hebrew month of Av...
Next Saturday night (August 10
) marks the 9
day of the Hebrew month of Av.
Av contains both the 'high point' and the 'low point' of the annual Jewish calendar with themes of destruction and
renewal. The first days of the month (which starts this year on Friday) leading up to the 9th day of Av (Tisha B'Av,
this year, Saturday night the 10
and Sunday the 11
) are the 'low': in different years (but this same date in
Jewish history), both the First Temple (built by King Solomon, destroyed by the Babylonians) and the Second Temple
(built by the Jews returning from Babylonia, completed by Herod, destroyed by the Romans) were lost to us and our
people were sent into exile. It is an emotional day of mourning established by second-century rabbis, observed with a
full fast and the reading of the Book of Lamentations. Additional tragedies on this date in history include the
expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 and Ferdinand and Isabella's expulsion of our people from Spain in 1492.
A tradition has it that the messiah will be born on this day. Some feel that, since the creation of the State of
Israel, it is no longer necessary to observe Tisha B'Av in this way.
The mood shifts dramatically to one of hope on the Shabbat that follows, known as Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath
of Comfort and Consolation (from the Haftarah from the Prophet Isaiah that begins "Be comforted, My people"). In
the shtetls of Europe, it was a popular time for weddings! The high point is the 15th day of Av, Tu B'Av, known as
"Jewish love day"! Why did we ever lose that practice??? The Mishna teaches that it was one of the happiest of
days when many would meet their beshert (their 'intended' soul mate) as the daughters of Israel went out in the
fields, followed by potential suitors. This year, Tu B'Av comes on Thursday night the 15
and Friday the 16
a good day to rekindle sparks with a loved one (or close friends...). It's all good, or can be, if we make it so.