Monday, August 15, 2005

My Tisha B'av

Saturday Night
7 PM: I start loading up for the fast. Dinner is cold cuts and potatoe salad. As usual I drink too much, and spend most of the last hour running in and out of the bathroom.

7:57: The fast starts

8:00: I read Samson Rephael Hirsch's take on the first perek of Isaiah. "Hmmm," I think. "Those Germans never use one word when 16 will do."

8:20: Drawing on what I've read, I tell the DovBearlings that the first temple was destroyed because the people had big houses and blase attitudes toward the poor. Asks my brightest child, "Like in Flatbush?"

8:30: I tell the DovBearlings the second temple was destroyed because the abcense of religious freedom allowed one angry aristo (Kamtzha, or perhaps Bar Kamtzah) to manipulate the system and force the sages to anger the Emperor by rejecting his sacrifice. Though I nudge my brightest child several times with my elbow, he fails to connect the dots.

8:35 I ask myself is "DovBearlings" better or worse than "OrthoKids"?

9:30: I walk to the shteeble for Maariv and Eicha. The shteeble is still dressed for shabbos: The white tablecloths have not been put away, and two days worth of books are scattered everywhere. Apart from me, the Rabbi, (sorry "deh Ruv,") and a few other people who realize that it's Tisha B'av, everyone else is in their shabbos clothing.

9:45: Eicha begins.

9:46: The gabbai remembers that he has not actually assigned the reading of Eicha to anyone in particular, so he goes around room pointing at people who look like they might know the trope until someone finally accepts.

9:50: Eicha really begins.

9:55:10:00:10:05 & 10:10: The gabbai does his pointing routine in between each perek. The chassdim have a name for this utter lack of organization. They call it "warmkeit."

10:15: I note from a sign on the wall that a videotape of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation's Annual Tisha B'Av Speech Starring Matisyahu Salomon and Yissacher Frand will be presented at 2 PM for the men, and 3 PM "for the ladies"

10:30 At home, I blog for a bit then sleep.

Sunday Morning

9 AM: Shachris in the MO shul. I note the banner, not on their wall but on their bulliten board, announces a mixed seating presentation at 2 PM for the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation's Annual Tisha B'Av Speech Starring Yissacher Frand and some guy named Breyde(?) No Matisyahu Salomon? Was he bumped? I suppose the MO's are still smarting from when Matt Salamon called them all "pygmies" in front of 50,000 people at the Siyum Hashass. I think it's wise of the Chofetz Chaim people to exclude him from a presentation in an MO shul especially a presentation in an MO shul that discussed Shmiras Haloshon

9:05: Number of people who showed up for Shachris with tefillin: 5
Number of people who actually put them on: 1

10:30: I give up on Kinos and drive home humming Eile Tziyon. Number of people who left before me: At least 50.

Sunday Afternoon

2 pm: Charedi Neighbor makes the worst argument of the week if not the year: "Holocaust kinos are wrong, because adding to the established liturgy is wrong." He doesn't explain why he permits himself to say kinos about the Crusades, or the Chelmniki massacres, and I am too caffine-deprived to ask.

2:01: Horrible thought occurs to me: Next year will some rabble rouser be urging us to say a kinnah for Gush Katif?

2:30: I kick the oldest DovBearling off the computer and try to blog. I see the post I put up the night before and cringe. Because 10 people seem to really like it, having already commented favorably about it, I leave it up, but post a revision instead.

2:35: I discover it was Mendel Hirsch, not Samson Rephael Hirsch who blamed the destruction of the first Temple on fat, selfish Jews. I curse silently, and make a note to check if late 19th century Germany was plaugued with an overabundance of those types of Jew. Mendel, I presume, is projecting.

2:35-5:00: I try to blog, but can't think of anything substantial. Others appear to be having the same trouble, I am relieved to discover.

5:00 - 6:00: I read Slate's piece on the withdrawal ("How do you train Israeli soldiers to fight Israelis?") and Newsweek's ("The End of a Dream") alert, as always, for instances of media bias or anti-Israel invective. As always, I find none.

6:30 I play hide-and-seek with the kids. Ok, that's a lie. The truth is I hide from the kids, and get pissed when they seek. They are loud, and I want to be alone. I remember Sandra Tsing Loh withering line about her own over-boisterous children, as she read the Exorcist ("A book where there are actually compelling metaphysical reasons children behave the way they do!") This is not a Tisha B'av thought, but I am much too irritated to care.

Sunday Night

9:00: Fast ends. Potato soup and lasagna. I say a silent prayer, thanking God that I am not a Karaite (They fasted twice in Ab, once on the seventh, and once on the tenth)

9:30: My sister calls to tell me she's just heard -from her 7 year old son!- that Israel is planning to leave the Gaza Strip. I make fun of her without mercy. That's how I know Tisha B'av is really over.