Monday, July 23, 2007

It's a business.

Firstly, tonight begins Tisha B'av, a fasting "holiday" of mourning over the fall of the Temples, not to mention countless other tragedies over the past several thousand years. As such, I'm really stoked that my synagogue is actually HAVING something for the holiday. However, I'm not exactly sure I agree with the text of the spiel about what it will entail:
Today, we have a modern Jewish state in the Land of Israel. So, why on Tisha B'Av do we mourn the destruction of the Temple and a way of life we no longer want? Join us for a thoughtful and lively discussion as we use excerpts from Rabbi Irving Greenberg's controversial article in The Jewish Way along with traditional texts to try to answer: Should Reform Jews commemorate Tisha B'Av?
More specifically, I don't know that it isn't a life we don't "want" so much as a life that we have evolved from and grown from as society and culture have expanded. If the Temple still stood today, I imagine that animal sacrifices would not be standard, regardless of the Temple laws and Temple Judaism. Anyhow, I'm intrigued and am looking forward to the discussion. I just hope people actually show for it! I, for one, will be fasting, refraining from work, and will spend most of tomorrow resting and examining Lamentations, in the same way I have the past few years.

Secondly, I'm knee-deep in "My Holocaust" by Tova Reich. I still am not over Friday's encounter with Hitler man on the street. The book is definitely tough, and it isn't as smooth as "Mara," though I feel connected to my previous read, as there are overlapping characters, which I admire. I imagine I'll succeed in passing through it this week. I was forced to buy the hardcover, as that's all the Borders had.

Nothing like spending $80 on books :) Of course, part of that was guidebooks for Venice, where I will be traveling in September over my birthday weekend! It's an "academic" trip in part for the professor I work for, and the honeymoon we'll never be able to afford in the other part. It's my first international trip, and I couldn't be more excited. I'll be spreading U.S. academic glory with early childhood education as I enjoy the sites and sounds of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My first stop in Venice? The Jewish ghetto!