Monday, July 31, 2006

There is none else Beside him.

Right now I'm too tired to write. But I've suddenly acquired a boatload of things to say. Strange, considering my mental plate has been devoid of intelligent argument for the past few days from a lack of sleep and focus. I am, however, almost done with the Roth book (thank G-d ... it's just dragging about in my bag). But for now ...

Tisha B'av begins at sundown Wednesday. It is a full fast day, a day in which an intense period of mourning occurs. Though there have been few times of peace for the Jewish people, I have to hope that the 48-hour cease fire carries through Tisha B'av. I fear horrible things happening on that day, adding to the laundry list of history bludgeoning the tribe. The Temples destroyed, the people exiled thousands of years ago and in 1492. No food, sit low to the ground, candle-lit read from the Talmud the rules of mourning.

The Torah portion this week is Va'etchanan and it is filled with Moses foreseeing the people falling away from G-d, exiled from their land and spread among the nations -- but that they will return and rekindle the flame. The Ten Commandments (thou shalt not MURDER, folks ... it's not kill) and the Shema are recited. The mitzvot are reminded and it is decreed that our people shall bind them as a sign upon our hands and head (tefillin) and upon our doorposts (mezuzot).

A heavy day, a day where chances are good that I'll sleep. A lot. That's what smart Jews do on fast days. Meditate, sleep, meditate, sleep. But on full fast days you can't read Torah or do any mitzvot. Why? Because they are pleasurable in G-d's eye. This day is meant for mourning, the deepest mourning, for all the world and the Jewish people.

And what a time to mourn.