Tisha b'Av in the Times/Drinking Like Camels

From today’s New York Times article on the heat wave hovering over New York City (and elsewhere):

“We’ve been drinking like camels the last couple of days,” Rabbi Haskel Lookstein said yesterday in his office at Kehilath Jeshurun, an Orthodox synagogue on the Upper East Side.
Well, sure. So have millions of other New Yorkers. But Rabbi Lookstein and many other Jews drank with particular urgency: beginning last night, they would be forbidden to consume any water for 24 hours. The occasion is Tisha B’Av, a day of fasting to mark the destruction of the First and Second Temples, the Crusades, the Holocaust, and other calamities that have befallen the Jews over the centuries.
Despite the heat, calls to a dozen Orthodox and Conservative rabbis turned up no reports of panicked congregants. “Look, we’ve had Tisha B’Av for about 2,000 years, and it’s always been in the summertime,” said Rabbi Aron Heineman, who runs a center for the elderly in Midwood, Brooklyn. “Somehow or other people get through it.”
Of course, rabbis urged their flocks to set the fast aside if they felt their health was in danger. “People will use their judgment,” Rabbi Heineman said.

2 thoughts on “Tisha b'Av in the Times/Drinking Like Camels

  1. Now if they could come up with a “camel-for-a-day” pill, so your kidneys would just pump as much of the water you drink before the fast out as they need to get rid of the stuff they are supposed to eliminate from the blood, so the rest of the water would stay with you until the fast was over …
    Eating watery fruit (e.g. melons) before the fast helps a bit, because it takes a while longer for the water to hit the bloodstream, but that probably only delays things for an hour or two. There was also a message I saw somewhere about how it helps to drink a cup of water every hour rather than load up on fluids right before the fast, but all I found this does for me is that insead of spending the night of the fast in the bathroom, I also spend the day before the fast there.
    What works for me is to stay out of the sun and in places with air conditioners.
    Yeah, I know, we’re wimps. Moslems fast during the day for a whole month, and many of them around here (Jerusalem) work outside in the sun doing physical labor even when Ramadan falls in the summer. Maybe they have some ideas that could help.

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