Monday, August 8, 2011

Tisha b’Av (August 8, 2011)

On Tisha b’Av, which falls today in this year's Jewish calendar, religious Jews mourn the fall of both Temples in Jerusalem, and many other misfortunes that have happened to the Jewish people. They read the Book of Job, in some traditions while seated on the floor in mourning garb. I therefore choose today to mention the Book of Job, which I find the most powerful and challenging book of the Bible. Though the message of the book is essentially religious, the questions it poses are as deeply disturbing to a non-religious person like me as I imagine they would be to a thoughtful religious person.

Although music is not traditional for Tisha b'Av, the Forward offered a wonderful selection of music from a variety of times and places: Music for the 9th of Av: On Jerusalem, Exile and Homelessness – Forward Thinking – Suggestions include several musical arrangements of Psalm 137, "By the waters of Babylon," songs about Jerusalem, songs about homelessness, and songs about persecution.

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