Tisha B’Av and Ostriching

Today was Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which is a day of communal mourning. In a fascinating stroke of coincidence, both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem fell on the ninth of Av. So we fast from sundown to sundown, read the book of Lamentations and other depressing texts, and contemplate the woes that have befallen us.

We also, many of us, contemplate the woes that we have shared responsibility for.

I intended to spend the day thinking about the recent/ongoing/what’s the status of the current ceasefire? in Gaza, but it turns out that I’m a terrible faster and really don’t like thinking about depressing, complex, nuanced issues like what to do when a small group of terrorists takes advantage of children, the UN, and humanitarian aid to store missiles in schools and hospitals. So I slept most of the day while being grateful to live in a place and have a job where I can take the day off, no questions asked.

The fast ended, I ate some melon, drank some water, and brushed my teeth (we have weird fasting rules), and was going to write about a recent controversy about a Palestinian author’s reading at the Evanston Public Library (including a recommendation of my friend David’s book, What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, which is about reconciliation and communication) but it turns out that the reading was reinstated.

So I can go back to being an ostrich, but I encourage all of you (it looks from my blog stats like I might have 6 or 8 readers) to remain open-minded and try to see the nuance (and century of history) in this tragic situation.



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