A Note From Rabbi Raina Siroty
For the past 24 hours, Jews around the world have been observing the saddest day of the Jewish year, Tisha B’av. This day is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which we mark the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, both in 586 BCE and 70 CE. Later on in our history, many more tragedies happened on this day, including the expulsion of England’s Jews in 1290 and the expulsion of all Jews from Spain in 1492.
Even as we, as Jewish people mourn, there is an element of joy and comfort. Indeed, the reading of Lamentations concludes with the verse, “Restore us to You, O Adonai, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old.” the very words recited when we put the Torah away and close the curtains of the ark.
I wanted to share this poem with you in remembrance of this solemn day, with the hope of a better tomorrow.
A poem by Ovadya ben Malka
A long sorrow follows us into the future.
A sadness long foretold
Baked into loaves
Laid out under the lamps
Of unforgiving time
Meeting our questions with silence.
A great joy lives in our future
A seed planted in the soil of memory,
Watered by our tears
Pushing roots into the past and green shoots into the future
And calling to us: Live!
Only live to see me blossom!
A blessing and a curse were laid on us that day.
We have drunk our fill of the curse,
Lived it through every dark and empty moment of chaos,
Sought unattainable death amidst a sea of corpses.
However large or small a bowl one brings,
This curse fills it.
A curse and a blessing were laid on us that day.
Having lived the curse,
Can we doubt the blessing?
We’ve felt the change, stirring beneath the spiral coil of time,
See the green shoots of hope blossoming in our land renewed.
However large or small a seed we plant,
This blessing fills it.
May God bless you and keep you safe. Wear your masks and social distance and keep out of the blazing heat. I look forward to seeing you at Shabbat at 6pm tomorrow.
I am here for you by phone 310 800-4243, text and email. Feel free to call me.