From Despair to Hope

Headshot of Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on August 5, 2022
"Eicha yashva badad, hair rabati am, haitai k'almana - Lonely sits the city, once great with people. She that was great among the nations has become like a widow". Read more...

Sacred Play-Acting

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on July 15, 2021
Like a number of Conservative Jews, I first learned the “script” of Tisha B’Av at summer camp (in my case, Ramah Poconos). After a pre-fast meal and as the sun began to set, we filed into the Beit Am Gadol (meaning, fairly literally: the Large Communal Space). At the front, by the stage which usually hosted camp plays, a choir of staff, and perhaps campers from older groups, sang mournful Hebrew songs as everyone gathered. The lights in the room were turned down, and instead the vast, hanger-like space was lit with candles. Read more...

The 10th of Av or What Happens Next

Photo of Michael Berenbaum
by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
posted on July 30, 2020
The Jewish Calendar does not change, we do. As we observe Tisha B’av with fasting and lamentations this Thursday, I am flooded with the memories of other places that I have been when this summer sacred fast day occurred, memories of Camp where, as the lone summer sacred day – we cannot say holiday – the whole camp was Tisha B’av. Read more...

Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope

Headshot of Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on August 3, 2006
This week on the Jewish calendar, we mark Tisha B’Av, (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av), a day of national mourning.  Commemorating the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the scattering of our early ancestors into exile, Tisha B’Av has become the saddest day of the Jewish year.  Throughout the ages, Tisha B’av has also become a sponge, absorbing millennia of Jewish suffering and calamities.  Read more...