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Rabbi's Week In Review - 7/26/2021

07/26/2021 04:43:18 PM

Jul26

This has been a week of transition on the Jewish calendar. We have left Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the month of Av) behind for another year and have headed into seven weeks of consolation. Notwithstanding the tragic part of our Jewish history commemorated on Tisha B’Av, we have not been abandoned by G-d, and we ultimately will be redeemed from all the persecution and tragedies we have experienced as the Jewish people.

Not only are we now being consoled but we also have Tu B’Av (the 15th day of the month of Av). This day, in which we celebrate the idea of love, has found new life in recent times. Particularly now, amidst a time of extreme acrimony and polarization, we need a little more Tu B’Av in our lives.

Rabbi Jill Hammer writes in The Jewish Book of Days that while we look at our Jewish calendar as circular — moving from season to season to season — each transition is an opportunity to break the circle. Rather than feel trapped in the circle, we are always able to begin each of these transitional moments in a new and different way. One way to break the circle is to move from the seeming despair of Tisha B’Av to a sense of appreciation for the love provided by Tu B’Av.

Moses instructs us this week in the Torah to engage in gratitude. I am grateful for this time on the Jewish calendar — a time to see the positive in our world and leave the negative behind. (Those who know me fairly well know that prayers of gratitude are a more preferred category of prayer.) Even in a time in which anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise, as well as many other challenges that face our people, we ultimately have to define ourselves by what we are for, and not what we are against.

Let us take this moment in time, as we begin the journey toward Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to breathe and reflect on what is good and what is positive in our lives. For those things that are good, let us also take a moment to engage in gratitude.

Thu, September 23 2021 17 Tishrei 5782