Thursday, July 30, 2020

No Jokes Today - It's Tisha B'Av, a Day of Mourning for the Holy Temples


If you were expecting a joke or a comedy skit today, we're sorry to disappoint you. You'll have to wait until Monday. Today is Tisha B'Av, an annual fast day in Judaism which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the Land of Israel.

The day also commemorates other tragedies which occurred on the same day, including the Roman massacre of over 100,000 Jews at Betar in 132 CE. Instituted by the rabbis of 2nd-century Palestine.

Tisha B'Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, a day in which all pleasurable activity is forbidden, and is marked by synagogue attendance the night before and during the day. But that doesn't mean there's no singing, or more accurately, chanting.

The highlight of the day's service is the chanting of the megillah of Eicha (Lamentations), written by the prophet Jeremiah. Eicha is read in synagogues and in groups meeting indoors and outdoors. The video below shows a large group singing Shir HaMaalot and Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim before sitting on the ground and beginning to read Eicha in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. 

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO. 



If Eicha's dirge-like melody and mournful lyrics don't speak to you, there's another musical way to get into the mood. It's the piyut (liturgical poem) Eli Tzion, the last piyut in the Ashkenazi collection of kinot (lamentations).

It's sung here to the tune of The Parting Glass, a traditional Irish folk song, by Noey J, a singer-songwriter who got his start with The Maccabeats.


No comments:

Post a Comment