Tisha B'Av


I have just returned from Erev Tisha B'Av services.
It happened by candlelight, with the rabbi and many others sitting on the floor, no microphone and very little light.
I could not find my little flashlight to bring, so I squinted next to my neighbor, a convert, who had better luck and directed me to the right page periodically. The rabbi, sitting on the floor in an appropriately solemn mood, spoke too softly for us in the back to hear. Or maybe it's just me, despite the hearing tests that say my hearing is excellent.

So I am in a bizarre mixed-state: deeply serious and aching for our broken country and our broken world; while my bizarre sense of humor is wide awake, and sends up this verse, I think from Dr. Seuss's You're Only Old Once:

"I cannot see
I cannot pee
I cannot chew
I cannot screw..."

*******
A part of me knows that the combative mind-set that has beset me since the election is probably not the most useful or effective one for dealing with the current reality. That part suspects that allowing myself to be catapulted into a state of outraged semi-helplessness in the face of the enormity of corruption we are witnessing is not useful, and renders me less effective. Tomorrow in shul, we will be doing some of Joanna Macy's work that addresses this---a good Tisha B'Av response to our current state, I should think.

I wish us all a fast that treats our bodies decently, while deeply disturbing our minds.
Let us go to sleep and invite dreams of our next steps.