Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I don't like the 9 Days... but

What do the 9 Days do to you? Do they make you sad? Do you start to feel something in the air? Is it like you've entered another category of time?  Or do these days of required mourning feel to you like any other?

I am not a superstitious man. I don't agree that the 9-Days are a Bermuda-Triangle-like period of time, a time when bad things are more likely to happen. I think it's silly to avoid plane travel, for example, or to avoid going out alone at night during these days. There are no statistics which suggest that bad things occur during the 9-days any more often than they do during the rest of the year. If there were, wouldn't the non-Jews would have caught on by now?

But still, something strange and altogether emotional happens to me when we enter the 9-Days. I feel something, not unlike what I feel around the Yomin Noraim. I am more mellow, more serious.

There are those of you who will insist that these unhappy feelings are caused by something real in the air, the koach zmaniyot, for example. But I don't buy it. As Heshel said, "A psychological reaction is no proof of an ontological fact." Others say the melancholy comes from being deprived of protein, but don't thik that's true either. I am a big fan of fish, and I expect to enjoy a large slice of it every evening this week.The hot weather isn't the problem either. I like 90 + temperatures.

In my humble opinion, this strange gloom that overtakes me year after year is simply one of the by-products of my all-too-successful Jewish education.

I was taught to be sad during the 9-Day, and so I am.

Buy one of the books that changed the way I think.

  • Search for more information about the 9 Days at 4torah.com


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