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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tish'a B'Av (The 9th of Av)

Almost every year, for the past 14 years, I walked around the Old City on the night of Tisha B'Av.

(You can read last year's post about the walk here.)

(You can read last year's post about how wierd it is not to fast here.)

In all those years, I only missed the walk twice: the year my son was born and one other year (maybe the year my daughter was born?), when I was not up for the walk.

This year, I could not do the walk. As opposed to those other years, when I could not participate for positive reasons, this year I could not do the walk because I am just too tired and in too much pain.

Today was a full and busy day! I spent the early morning on Bar Mitzvah stuff, the late morning working with one of my angels to clean up my kitchen, and the afternoon at the Brit Milah of a friend (and former roommate).

I came home from the Brit and just wanted to take a nap, but there were other demands and not enough time.

Originally, I planned to go with my family, like we have done for the past few years, to hear our good friend, TS, read Eicha for us at the Tayelet, overlooking Har HaBayit. From there we would join up with the Women in Green, who organize and lead the walk around the walls.

For several days now, I wondered if I would be up for the walk; but I certainly expected to go hear my friend read Eicha.

Recently, thank God, I have not been suffering badly from pain. Some days, I do not take any pain killers at all; many other days, I only take them once or twice a day. However, this evening my back and ribs hurt me a lot, even after I took pain killers.

I realized that even sitting on a bench would be too painful for me. Instead of concentrating on the reading, I would be focused on the pain (and waiting for the reading to end so that I could get home and rest).

I worried how my kids would react to this change in events. My staying home would definitely be a break in "the normal order of things." But I had to admit that pushing myself beyond my limitations, "for the sake of my kids," would not be good for any of us.

I broke the news to my husband and kids, who were sad that I would not be joining them, but understood.

My sister offered to come over and read Eicha with me. We both felt that it would be more meaningful for us to read it together. I shared that information with my kids, and I think it made the situation more acceptable.

When my sister arrived, we had a real heart-to-heart. It was good to have that time (and the talk) with her. Then we got out a candle, turned off most of the lights, sat on a low couch, and read Eicha.

In the middle of our reading, my eldest returned home (they had finished reading Eicha already). My daughter has had a cramp in her leg for several days and she realized she that she would not be able to do the walk either. She went into the computer room and watched Home Game, a film about the destruction of Gush Katif. This particular film juxtaposes the expulsion with the local basketball playoffs -- it is a powerful and moving film.

I am really sad that I was not able to mark Tisha B'Av the way I wanted.

I do recognize that I made the right decisions.

But it is hard.

May those of you who are fasting have a meaningful, and easy, fast.
May the Temple be rebuilt speedily and in our day!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Mottel said...

Rivka, your words continue to touch us. May you gain increased strength, and may you never have to mark Tisha B'Av in any way again . . . with the coming of Moshiach now already!

Batya said...

You did the right thing.
Refuah Shleimah

Anonymous said...

Refuah Shleimah.

I don't know you at all, but it doesn't stop me admiring the honesty of your posts.

Shabbat Shalom