The bleakest fast of the year is Tisha b’Av, commemorating the destruction of both Temples (in 586 B.C.E. and 70 C.E.). We begin preparing ourselves to feel the enormity of the loss from the 17th of Tammuz, the day the Roman armies breached the wall around Jerusalem; the expressions of mourning intensify with the start of Av; and then on Tisha b’Av, we fast, sitting low to the ground as we read the Scroll of Lamentations and recite dirges.
How will I die? What if (anything) happens to me (if there even still is a “me”) next? How will my death impact those I leave behind? The Talmud asks these questions in response to the death of Miriam and Aaron, part of this week’s sedra.
Between the lines of the Bible, we glimpse the difficulties — even tragedy — of Moses, the greatest prophet in history who nevertheless sees himself losing the fealty of the Hebrew nation, failing to direct the people toward the very goal of their Exodus; the conquest of and settlement of the Land of Israel. Where has he gone wrong, and why?
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.