Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tisha B'Ab falls tomorrow

The fast of Tisha b'Ab (9th Av), falls tomorrow. It  is the darkest day of the Jewish calendar. It is a day of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, and other misfortunes that have befallen
the Jewish people. Yemenite chanting on Tisha B'Ab at the Western wall in Jerusalem.

It is customary for mourners to read the Book of Lamentations. Among Jews of Aleppo the portion of the law read on Shabbat Ekha, just before the Fast, is sung to Maqam Hijaz. "There is consensus among ALL sources to apply Hijaz; this maqam (octave scale) is reserved to express sadness", says the blog Pizmonim Project.

On a lighter note, here is what the late Suzy Vidal, in her memoirs The Jasmine Necklace, had to say about 9th Av, and its significance for the Jews of Egypt:

" My mother was born on July 23, which happened to be 9 Av, the destruction of Solomon's Temple and also the date of the Expulsion of Jews from Spain. Everyone called it Yom Ekha. Anyone who knows his Jewish calendar could easily guess which year Yom Ekha happened to be on July 23. But people were not te-ill el dam, heavy-blooded, and were not going to complicate their lives or waste time with such futilities.

"Yom Ekha is a very bad day in our calendar. It is not the day to sign an important contract, getting engaged or married. Sexual relations are forbidden. You cannot go the swimming pool or have a swim in the sea; you just sit around, pray and wait for Yom Ekha to pass away.

"Several expressions are attached to that day. It is an expression of disbelief. If someone says," I'll do this or that," you can answer "Oh yes, Yom Ekha". It is the same as saying we'll never see that. Of someone who is not resourceful you could say Ekha aleh or Ekha aleha. Aleh means on him and aleha on her.

"My mother was convinced that being born on Yom Ekha she was bound to be unlucky: fall off her beloved ladder, burn her hand with boiling oil or have money stolen from her bag when shopping. All the misfortunes that happened to her were because she was born on July 23, which in the year of her birth happened to be Yom Ekha."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

July 30, 2017

When it comes to "the misfortunes that have befallen the Jewish people" and fusing them into our collective memory by the observation of Tisha B'Ab,we would do well to emphasize the genocide "that might have been" for more than one and a half million Jews who inhabited Arab and other Muslim inhabited lands in 1948.
We are of course referring to the communally supported genocide that most Muslims would have visited on our brothers and sisters of the Islamic Orient if G-d forbid,Israel had lost the War of Independence,1947-1949.To contemporary Muslims,It still doesn't matter a Jihad's damn,that oriental Jews predated Islam in those lands by more than 1000 years. The same could be said for the Armenians,the Zoroastrians,the Yazidis,the various Christian sects of the Muslim Orient and the tens of millions of Hindus that met their fate at the hands of the inherently genocidal followers of "the Prophet". Muslims, both in the Islamic Orient & their "diaspora" among us,are not the least bit embarrassed to celebrate openly, any mass murder they can inflict on THEIR perceived enemies.9-11 is hardly the only example of such instinctively barbarous behavior. Indeed,the very weakness and cowardly denial of their host societies' leaders is a stimulus to their lack of conscience - driven restraint. Tish B'Ab observances should remind Us,that it's never too late to learn the lessons of the past when WE have the power to deal with the sons of Amalek who dwell so malignantly among us in the Diaspora. We owe them nothing. THEY are expecting the same 'NOTHING' from US. Let's give some pro-active meaning to Tisha B'Ab...At the most local levels.

Please GOOGLE: Norman L. Roth