Monday, July 27, 2015

Notes on Tisha B'av 5775

I've been doing this for years... its both bracing and scary to see how much time has gone by and how little things have changed.

How the Fast Went:
A breeze. I hardly felt it, and was in no rush to eat when the time came.

I wish I could share one, but it was a thoughtless year. I said the kinot, slept some, went to mincha and read some stuff on my phone. If you're looking for heroic discoveries from previous years try this. [While this remains the ultimate all time best Tisha B'av post ever written ]

The smallest one was a little noisy, but he's old enough to entertain himself; the others were fasting. My days of having to deal with kids while fasting are over.  Sigh. Sunrise, sunset. Related 1 and 2

How long was shachris:
Forever and a day. Long time readers know how much I love Yom Kippur prayers, but I can't stand Tisha B'av morning. Its far and away the worst service of the year. The dirges make no sense, and drone on forever, and please don't recommend some hippy, do-gooder, minyan where the Rabbi's bright-eyed assistant delivers a boring introduction to selected Kinot. Such introductions are never insightful, and make a terrible service even less palatable.

Kinah for Gush Katif?
Still no.

Kinah for holocaust?
Nope. Not this year. As I said to the Rabbi after we finished, those who end the liturgical tour of Jewish tragedy at Chelminiki, yet also hold that Yom Hashoa is wrong because "we have tisha b'av" have, in Ricky's immortal words, some 'splainin' to do.

None, for a change. I caught a few minutes of Sophie's Choice but it didn't hold my attention.

I finished up something by Dov Katz on the musser movement then went looking for Kotso shel Yud, the epic Haskalah poem written by Yehuda Gordon. I found it here and recommend it heartily.

Rather then ruin your experience by revealing the ending, I'll just say that Gordon is the sort of writer who leaves you flabbergasted. His poem brilliantly weaves together pointed biblical and rabbinic allusions in a highly readable style to tell the unfortunate story of a woman called Bat Shua. Poor Bat Shua has been left an aguna by the sort of hapless fellow who still gets churned out of factories like Lakewood. While the villainous Rabbi Vofsi is a caricature and the enlightened Jewish gentlemen who comes to Bat Shua's rescue is too perfect to be real,  Gordon's account still stands as valid criticism of the mechanical Judaism that both musserniks and haskalaniks opposed. 

Break fast:
The usual: Potato soup, lecho, home-made pastries.

How'd things go for you? (Or to put it in the argot of the blogosphere, I'm "tagging" all of you.")

Search for more information about ###

No comments: