Posted on July 24, 2020 by Rabbi Arnold S. Gluck
What are we to do when our dreams are shattered? The wise counsel of the late great Israeli author Amos Oz is to find a new dream. Remember, he said, that the loss of a particular hope or dream does not mean that all hope is lost or that we are no longer able to dream.
This advice reflects a pattern that has repeated itself throughout Jewish history. We have faced so many crises and endured so many tragedies. Remarkably, after each one we found new opportunities, new possibilities that led to renewal and revitalization.
We find ourselves at the precise moment in the Jewish year when we recall many of the most painful and devastating calamities of our past, shattering experiences that might have marked the end of our people and our way of life.
We are in the period of three weeks that began with the 17th of Tammuz and will end next Thursday with the 9th of Av, also known as Tisha B’Av. On the 17th of Tammuz the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans leading to the destruction of the 2nd Temple on the 9th of Av. The 17th of Tammuz was also the day that Moses descended from Mt. Sinai, saw the Children of Israel worshipping the Golden Calf, and smashed the Tablets of the Covenant. Multiple other tragedies befell our people on Tisha B’Av, including the destruction of the 1st Temple, the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and the massacres of the 1st Crusade. Any one of these shattering events might have spelled our demise. None of them did. In fact, each one served as a crucible from which was forged new forms of Jewish life, new insights and understandings, new growth.
Next Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. we will convene on Zoom (link below) to mark Tisha B’Av with song, prayer and study drawing on the richness of our experience of finding light amidst darkness and life after loss. Our hope is that this time together will offer sustenance and strength for coping with the struggles and losses of our own time. We hope you will join us.
Rabbi Arnie Gluck and Cantor Risa Wallach
Join the service via Zoom: Meeting ID: 828 4398 6591; Passcode: TishaBAv
Or dial 929-436-2866; Meeting ID: 828 4398 6591; Passcode: 93408073