Rethinking Tisha B’Av

There is a holiday in the month of Av (July/August) called Tisha B’Av. It’s traditionally a holiday of mourning because pretty much everything bad that’s ever happened to us as a people happened on that day. I’m actually all for a collective day of mourning.

I think there can be a lot of power in that, but I really find that my thoughts about the central element of Tisha B’Av, the fall of the Temple, are very different than everyone else’s. This is one of the few places that I really haven’t heard anyone talking about where I am on this.

Here’s the thing.

On Tisha B’Av we’re supposed to be mourning the exile of the Shekhinah. So the story goes, when the Temple was destroyed, which was the “home” of the Shekhinah, she was exiled out into the world. But that just doesn’t make sense to me. I see her as being freed to infuse the whole world now.

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Adapted from a post originally written for Peeling a Pomegranate (2003-2013) by Kohenet Ketzirah haMa’agelet