#TBT Roundup of Tisha B'Av Jewschool Posts
As we prepare for Tisha B’Av, thinking of all the ways people continue to see their cities ravaged by bloodshed and dislocation, it may be helpful to round up some poignant Tisha B’Av pieces from years past on this site.
Some pieces have addressed the general soul of Tisha B’Av. In that vein, here is Aryeh Cohen’s dark, dangerous, short, and potent 2015 piece, “Tisha B’Av Does Not Have a Happy Ending“. Similarly, here is Aryeh Bernstein’s brief and reflective 2014 piece justifying Tisha B’Av observance even for those who do not hope for restoration of Temple sacrifice, “Why I Fast and Mourn on Tisha B’Av, the Day of Homelessness and Displacement“.
But there are pitfalls to this observance, even with this meaning. Check out this brutally poignant anonymous 2011 article (with illustrations) about the effects people’s “emotional tourism” of Tisha B’Av grief can have on other people who suffer from actual depression: “Tisha B’Av, Spiritual Tourism, and Depression“.
Some pieces have engaged in creative and contemporary Tisha B’Av liturgy. Here is ZT’s 2009 documenting of Rabbi Irwin Kula’s recording of 9/11 victims’ last phone messages in Eikha trope, “Haunting Eicha Recording” and here is Ben Greenfield’s 2014 piece, “Echad Asar bSeptember, OR, a 9/11 of the Jews“. Here is Aryeh Cohen’s 2009 “for tisha b’av“, a kinah (elegy) for Tisha B’Av, about the aftermath of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Here is Ruby K and Aryeh Bernstein’s 2015 adaptation of the Tisha B’Av kinah “Eli Tziyon” to the context of #BlackLivesMatter, “The Price of America (Eli Tziyon)“.
Some pieces have explicitly related the themes of Tisha B’Av to the horrors of the Israeli occupation. Here is Rebecca Grabiner’s 2015 piece for Shabbat Nachamu (after Tisha B’Av), “This Tisha B’Av, How about Less Comfort and More Justice?” And here, in the midst of Israel’s massacre of Gaza, is Kung Fu Jew’s 2014 documentation of what may turn out to be a watershed event in American Jewish history, the formation of If Not Now, at the Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, Tisha B’Av service.
In that spirit of Tisha B’Av in our streets, Jewish communities across the world are bringing in this Shabbat with services coupling as protest against the Israeli government’s planned destruction of the Palestinian village of Susiya this week. Respond to the call of All That’s Left, T’ruah, and the Center for Jewish Non-Violence, and in some cities, other partners, including IfNotNow, and join a service near you. Also, on Tisha B’Av itself, there will be Eikha readings supplemented with contemporary poetry linking the themes of Eikha to those of our cities’ violence, discrimination, and dislocation, in Chicago, St. Paul, Brooklyn, and perhaps elsewhere.