Tuesday, July 20, 2010

9th of Av

I must admit, I'm less and less inclined to listen to the rules made by rabbis and instead am listening more to my own soul.  For me it's soothing. 

I took off work the day of the 9th of Av in the Hebrew calendar, the anniversary of the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temples in Jerusalem, and didn't know what I would be doing - whether I would fast the entire day, none of the day, half the day or what.  I had the option of going to Nava Tehilla's reading of the Megillat (scroll) of Eicha at the Nature Museum.  It's usually a very reflective evening, much different than in regular synagogues, where you would be writing down thoughts, etc.  And all this by candlelight.  But traveling in from Maaleh Adumim seemed tedious and I decided to stick close to home.  My other option was the Conservative reading of the Megillah on a lookout over Jerusalem, locally, but still difficult to get to, as I'd either have to scrounge for a ride or take two buses.  Once I'm home in the evening, it's hard for me to want to leave.  I settled for the third option to just stay at home and watch the History channel on Jerusalem, narrated by Martin Gilbert.

My kids trounced in at various hours, surprised that I wasn't eating or drinking.  I was especially put to the test by one of my daughters who put sushi on the table.  "I'll save it for tomorrow" I told her.  "You're not gonna eat it now?" she asked me.  "No do you want it" I asked her, hoping she'll say no.  She said "no" and I hid it in back of the fruit, not that anyone else in the family eats sushi.

The next day I was supposed to watch my grandson, but my son-in-law, the alien husband who never complains about anything, decided he'll stay home and watch his son.  I spent the entire morning, just cooking.  Cooking?  I wasn't eating and cooking and baking for most of the day, made up for my not eating.

But I had already thought it over.  I'm not in exile any more.  I've liberated myself from the Diaspora and back in my homeland.  So I declared it a 1/2 fast day for me (due to the fact that the 1st half of the fast (for me) was in commemoration of the destruction of the temple and not the exile) and broke it sometime in the afternoon. 

My daughter took me shopping at the mega supermarket nearby and watched as my son went out of the car to buy falafel.

"Why is he walking like that?" two daughters asked me in unison.

He's been working out and he thinks he's Sylvester Stallone.  I tell them he thinks it makes him look tough that way.

"He looks like a robot".

We laughed and drove away....

I figured no one would be shopping during the fast day.  I was wrong.  Everyone was shopping and the place was packed.  Hungry people shop more and I was sure the store had people spending more money this day than they normally would.  What a coup for this store. My pregnant daughter laughed as she tried to swerve her shopping cart into the aisle I was in and she ended up turning around several times with the cart.  We both laughed and I think the Arab shopper near us, who was wearing a keffiyah, thought we were laughing at him.  I smiled at him as reassurance that we weren't and even thought of whipping out my interfaith business card to prove that we would never laugh at someone of a different race/religion. 

We just laugh at our own.

1 comment:

janice said...

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