Marking Tisha b’Av during a long, hot summer

Edmon J. Rodman


"The day’s liturgy pushes us toward our own present-day cities and communities. The Book of Eicha, or Lamentations, which is traditionally read on this day, calls to us from across the millennia, shifting our attention to the now. When he hear the opening line about Jerusalem —'Alas! Lonely sits the city' — we could just as easily be talking about Dallas, or Baton Rouge. The next verse, 'Bitterly she weeps in the night,' reminds us of the tears shed over the shootings of black, unarmed men.Some have already heard that call. At an evening vigil in New York last month, organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice — a group which says it is 'inspired by Jewish tradition to fight for a sustainable world with an equitable distribution of economic and cultural resources and political power' — Shoshana Brown, a Jew of color and a JFREJ leader said, 'As we enter the weeks leading to Tisha b’Av, this is a sacred time for Jews to take a stand against atrocities happening right now, as we also remember those that have happened to us in the past.' ”