If our ritual life does not pulse with the passionate pull of the political, if our laments do not answer and reprise the cries of those who are oppressed and imprisoned, marginalized and silenced, if our communal liturgy can be confined within the walls of our institutions and not spill out into the streets when it must, we will have domesticated what could be an authentic engagement with the Divine, we will have put the wild cries of our religious selves under the supervision of those who patrol the boundaries of propriety. This would be the death knell of true religion. This would be the death knell of democracy.
This powerful video by Eli Ungar-Sargon documents Tisha b’Av in Los Angeles in this year. A combined service of three communities—Shtibl Minyan, Ikar, and Beth Chayim Chadashim; and then the next morning in the streets of Los Angeles outside the Metropolitan Detention Center, in a service/action co- sponsored by Shtibl Minyan, IKAR, Bend the Arc, T’ruah, HIAS, NCJW, Beit T’shuvah, Temple Beth Am, Temple Israel of Hollywood, Leo Baeck Temple, Beth Chayim Chadashim, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, CLUE, LA Voice, Jewish Center for Justice, CHIRLA, California Religious Action Center, Kol Tikvah, Kol Ami, and Nefesh.