My Tisha B'Av Tell-All
"Jews are all about life. How can we celebrate that if we’re often stuck in the past?"
Hi from sunny LA!
On travel so keeping it short this week.
Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar when we mourn the destruction of our temples, was yesterday. Recently, I’ve had mixed feelings about this holiday. Sure, it’s important to mourn for what was our holiest of holies and what united us as a people while reflecting on the Jewish future. I’m all about thinking of what was and what could be.
But I’m torn. Mostly because the holiday always falls during the happiest time of the year, at least for me (though maybe that’s when we should mourn, to remind us of the sadness amidst the summertime fun?). And mostly because I didn’t grow up observing the holiday. It’s easier for me to fast on Yom Kippur than on Tisha B’Av because I grew up knowing that’s what a Jew is to do.
Last year was my first time observing Tisha B’Av. I tuned into an online learning session and immediately fell asleep. Not because I was bored, but because I actually caught a fever! Is that a sign? Probably not.
This week, I’m traveling and exploring LA for the first time because this is the one time of the summer I can do it. I booked my flight, forgetting Tisha B’Av was to come. But I’m here because I’m visiting other Jews I met on a recent Jewish trip to Estonia. So far, I’ve met the LA Jewish community (mostly heard about how terrible your dating pool is and how delicious your food is), saw Chabad of Malibu, and will attend a jazz Shabbat tonight.
There’s a sort of lifecycle beauty in that. Instead of spending the day restricting myself by fasting and sitting uncomfortably, I celebrated life. I’m not saying it’s the right way, but it’s my way. I still had a conversation on what’s important to me in Judaism… I was just hiking along the beach while doing it!
As a comedian said the other night, “In 100 years we’ll all be dead. In 200 years, no one will remember us. So live it up. Have fun. Steal something. If you’re in a bad relationship, get out of it. If you don’t like your parents, sell them.” And then he made fun of Jesus. He nailed it! Okay maybe don’t steal something, but you get the idea. Jews are all about life. How can we celebrate that if we’re often stuck in the past?
Speaking of comedy… if you’re in the NYC area (Or not! Come anyway!), come to the Chosen Comedy Fest on August 8 at the Coney Island Amphitheater. It's a gathering that celebrates Jewish culture and comedy with an incredible lineup.
Readers of The Shabbat Drop can use the discount code ShabbatDrop10 for 10% off. Get your tickets here.
Don’t forget to laugh this Shabbos. Shabbat Shalom!