Tisha B’Av

It’s Tisha B’Av in Tel Aviv as it is in the rest of the world.  Last night Tel Aviv exhibited is normal schizophrenia to religious holidays, with all the bars closed, but some restaurants were closed and some were open, with no particular pattern.

When I was 17 and still considered myself religious during a summer I spent in Israel, I concluded that it was wrong to continue the fast day, now that we had Jerusalem and certainly in those days felt like  we had the Temple Mount.  To me it was just another example of the unwillingness to make fundamental changes now that we had the state.  Of course for many years I continued to fast, until I could stop myself.

As my religious affiliation changed over the time and for many years I identified more with the Conservative movement, I was particularly upset at that movement- after all the Orthodox movement does not really have the means of making changes, the Conservative movement does not have the guts to make any changes.

Talking to a friend in the park today, who is more conservative than me (politically) but not any more religious, he defended the continued observance of the day by saying, that is one of the beauties of Judaism, its unchanging.  That of course in my mind is one of its biggest failings; Orthodoxy does not have the means to changes ( and of course the Haredi world follows the views of Chazon Aish ” if it’s new it’s bad”) the Conservative world does not have the guts to make changes, and the Reform world does not seem to know what to change.  For those of you fasting I hope you have an easy fast- for the rest of us it’s another work day here in Israel.


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