A Zest for Redemption: Tisha B’Av @ the Wall 2011

“Daddy,” a little boy said as I was passing by him and his father. “Is the Temple buried under ground?”

It was truly amazing to hear. As an adult I understand the destruction in a very complex way. In fact it’s not unreasonable to say I don’t understand it at all but I still seem to make up all kinds of reasons why it’s no longer standing and why it has not been rebuilt yet. To this little boy it was simply dead; buried.

There were many such questions being asked tonight by many children to their parents. I heard them in every nook and cranny.

Meanwhile, as groups of Jews read the Book of Lamentations and chanted additional passages about this aweful day the crowds mingled; there was a sort of euphoria which was definitely a paradox on the night.

It can’t be denied that our tradition tells us this tragic moment on the annual calendar will eventually be known as a festival and as previous experiences to the Western Wall on Tisha B’Av have shown me, there is a zest for redemption in the air.

AND who would have thought that on all nights cameras would be held by all walks of life at the Wall snapping shots left and right and no one would flinch. Tisha B’Av at the Wall seems to be a photographer’s dream.

Furthermore, amidst all the mourning/giddiness over the thought of the redemption happening at any moment, the Islamic call to prayer rang in the background and just a few alleyways away Muslims were feasting after a long day of Ramadan fasting.

Tomorrow we’ll be fasting simultaneously butĀ for different reasons. Two hungry nations living side by side, stomachs grumbling.

What craziness! What chaos! How did we get here!

The Jewish People have returned after 2000 years to their ancient homeland. A promise that was made is coming true. Now we are waiting for it’s fulfillment.

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