Tisha B’av, commemorated this year on this coming Saturday night and Sunday, is a day of fasting dedicated to mourning for the great destructions of the Jewish people which we suffered, according to Rabbinic tradition, because of the ways we lost our way (idolatry for the first Temple, hatred toward each other for the second Temple, and other sins for other subsequent destructions, e.g. Crusades, expulsion from Spain, 1648 massacres of Jews, and subsequent Christian uprisings against Jews, not including the Holocaust which used to be but now has its own special yom ha’sho’ah day).
Beyt Tikkun’s commemoration is free, but if you come before 9:00 p.m.. please bring something yummy to eat for the pre-fasting pot-luck which starts at 7:30 p.m. this coming Saturday, July 28th.
Why bother? Because our arrogance and insensitivity in making Israel our current idol before whom all most bow and vow loyalty, and supporting Israeli policies which are oppressive to the Palestinian people, to the immigrants it has recently been rounding up to expel, to the Bedoins, to the Palestinian citizens of Israel, to its own poor, and to its own dissenters, now puts us and Israel in the posiition of possibly facing yet another churban (destruction) based on God or karmic retribution for our hardheartedness. (We also SUPPORT ISRAEL–please read my book Embracing Israel/Palestine to see why we are BOTH pro-Israel AND pro-Palestine, a position which derives from our spiritual, Jewish religious and psychological understanding of the world). And we also mourn the triumph of materialism and selfishness in some (NOT ALL) parts of the organized Jewish community, where Jewish institutions often run defacto on the basis not of one person one vote, but one dollar one vote, where Jews can turn their heads all too easily away from responsibility for the many rich Jews who have made their monies by identification with and participation in the mad war of all against all that is the capitalist marketplace (but simultaneously, we recognize with pride the many Jews who have supported and voted for candidates that support extending rather than reducing the social support network of government to alleviate some of the worst suffering of the middle income and poor people in our society).
So we mourn with the hope that in so doing we can inspire more Jews to speak out and act to return our people to its most loving, compassionate and generous values. If you doubt my interpretation, just read the book of Jeremiah and Isaiah, or for a short intro, study the first chapter of Isaiah (oy, the sadness in Isaiah’s voice, when traditionally read to the melody of the Hebrew Bible’s (not the “Old Testament”–please don’t use that Christian triumphalist term to refer to the Hebrew Bible)Book of Lamentations, reminds us that we are sad about this reckoning, trying to do what we can to head it off before it happens by changing the spiritual mis- direction of the Jewish people in the contemporary world).
In fact, if you live in the SF Bay Area, you can do that with us on Saturday evening during our se’udah shlishit which is also our se’udah mafseket before the fasting begins. Details below. May our people learn from our past and from our prophets!! We simultaneously mourn for the destruction of the planet– a destruction in which all people on the planet are partially responsible, though corporate avarice in the globalization of capital plays the most central role in this destruction. But that doesn’t mean that we ourselves,the human race, do not have a significant role in either saving or destroying the life support system of our planet Earth.
If you can’t come this Saturday evening, please at least be sure to register now for our High Holiday services with guest teachers Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Berman, Rae Abileah, and Josh Healey–all joining me during Beyt Tikkun’s services (details at http://www.beyttikkun.org/article.php/HHDMain). People come from across the world for these services (which this year will be held at the Pacific School of Religion a block north of the University of California, Berkeley).
To register for High Holidays: http://www.beyttikkun.org/article.php/HHDMain
–Rabbi Michael Lerner email@example.com
Shabbat and Erev Tisha b”Av–July 28
*When:* Saturday, July 28 2012 @ 07:30 PM – – 11:00PM
*Where:* 951 Cragmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA a few doors south of where Cragmont crosses Marin Ave, one block east of where Marin crosses Spruce Street.
JULY 28, 2012
at Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-without-walls (and without the money to buy walls and create our own physical place, the reason for which becomes apparent once you hear our radical and even non-violently revolutionary message).
Join Beyt Tikkun as we celebrate the shabbat third meal and observe erev Tisha B’Av on Saturday evening, July 28, 2012. The ancient and contemporary prayers and rituals are designed to acknowledge and transmute our losses, past and present. We mourn the devastation of our sacred places, including the earth herself, as we look ahead to the cleansing and re-dedication of the High Holy Day season.
7:30 pm:Shabbat veggie pot-luck meal and study of the Shabbat before Tisha b’Av Haftorah
9:20pm Reading of the Book of Lamentations (Eycha) and discussion of mourning for the way our people keep on losing our way!!
951 Cragmont Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708
Please bring a yummie vegetarian dish to share for the pot-luck meal. The Tisha b’Av fast will begin at 9:00pm.
May our people learn from our past and from our prophets!! We simultaneously mourn for the destruction of the planet– a destruction in which all people on the planet are partially responsibile, though corporate avarice in the globalizaiton of capital plays the most central role in this destruction. But that doesn’t mean that we ourselves, the human race, do not have a significant role in either saving or destroying the life support system of our planet Earth.–Rabbi Michael Lerner RabbiLerner.Tikkun@gmail.com