Last week was the 9th of Av (Tesha is 9 in Hebrew, Av is Month, and the prefix b’ means in) in the Jewish calendar, which this year falls on July 24th. We remember the destruction of the Second Temple. What remains of this amazing structure is the Kotel, which is known in English as the Western Wall.
Reform Jews, for the most part, do not believe in the coming of the messiah or that we should rebuild the temple. Thus I find myself very conflicted. Read the post “Tisha B’av take 1” for a more traditional perspective on this holiday. It’s supposed to be a fast day and a day of sadness. Try as I might, sadness is not the word that came to my mind as we joined tens of thousands of Jews who descended upon the Kotel on erev-tisha b’av around 11pm JST (Jerusalem Standard Time).
I was amazed to see every type of Jew staring, talking, chanting, praying, wailing (the wailing wall — we are sad it was destroyed).
I can’t offer perspective on this matter at the moment as I’m not sure how I feel. I will not sit and mourn the loss of the temple, but neither will I sit back and ignore the fact that it played and plays such an important role in the modern Jew. I’m sure in the coming months I will be able to add more to this, but for now this is it. Ahh, a true Reform Jewish inner struggle…
I do know that I believe that the messianic era(a time of eternal peace and celebration) will not come because Jews who stoned an Egged bus or told me I wasn’t a Jew wore tefilin and prayed three times a day. It will come because we will all treat each other, everyone on this earth, with loving kindness and respect.
Happy mournful easy fasting Tisha B’Av and shavua tov (have a good week).