Sunday, August 7, 2022

Finding Hope and Joy Today on Tisha B'Av - The Day of Mourning for the Holy Temples

There is no day during the year when we can't find an opportunity to laugh, chuckle, guffaw, grin, or maybe just crack a smile.  Without humor, the world would be a much grimmer place.  Even during the High Holy Days and on fast days, most of us find a moment to share an anecdote or witty comment with friends.  

Today is no exception, but the overall mood of the elongated day is much more sorrowful than any other.  The reason, of course, is that today we observe Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av.

Tisha B’Av is a fast day that commemorates the destruction of the two Temples. It also happens to be the day that many other calamities have befallen the Jewish people. 
This year Tisha B'Av was actually yesterday, but because we don't fast on Shabbat, the day of mourning and fasting was put off until today. The same thing happened in 2018, and in that year Israel's i24 News posted a YouTube video by Rabbi Yaacov Kirmayer of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue who explained the significance of the day.
Amid the sadness of the day, there is room for hope and even a bit of laughter, as the rabbi described how centuries ago Rabbi Akiva laughed while visiting the site. Why laughter? Because he realized that the destruction was the fulfillment of a prophecy and pointed to a later prophecy that the Temple would ultimately be rebuilt.

We hope you have an easy and meaningful fast.

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