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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]

My husband is currently being wonderful.

He's standing in line at a local takeout place to buy dinner. We have to eat dinner before - well, before 9PM, anyway. Because tonight is Rosh Chodesh Av - the beginning of the Nine Days (which is the end of the Three Weeks.) Mourning for the Temple goes into high gear - no meat, no clean clothes (we adapt), no swimming and for those who can handle it, no bathing and no shaving. Haircuts have been out for a couple week already. So have weddings.

So, like the rest of Flatbush, my husband is out buying a fleishig meal because it'll be our last one until Friday night (all mourning stops on the Sabbath.) You think that's bad? The dairy restaurants next Sunday are going to be *packed* - not only do a lot of people go out for dinner on Sundays anyway, but the normal Sunday night dinner in many households is Shabbat leftovers. Which tend to be meat. Which would not be permitted. We've waited on line for hours to get seated.

Better is to go to a meat restaurant and have something from a pareve Nine Days menu. The one my husband is now does it very well - things they don't serve the rest of the year, such as fish because there are some stringencies about fish and meat that it's easier to avoid in a place like that. Or a Chinese or Japanese place, which can do pareve with no retooling at all. And, of course. It's only nine days, one of which is Shabbat and one of which is a fast day anyway, although it's forbidden to eat meat until the next afternoon.


Jewish History 103: The Holy Temple

During the reign of King Solomon, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was built. Once built, it became the only place that sacrifices could be offered - in the Place Gd designated.

On the Ninth Day of the Month of Av in the year 433BCE, the Babylonians came and conquered the land, and destroyed the Temple. 70 years later, the Jewish people returned and built the Second Temple. This one was rededicated at least once, in the events celebrated during Chanukah, and rebuilt by King Herod.

In the year 70CE, on the 17th of the month of Tammuz, the Romans lay seige to Jerusalem. Three Weeks later, on the Ninth Day of the month of Av, it was destroyed again, burning for over a day. We are still in mourning because it has not yet been rebuilt and others now use the site for worship.

We commemorate these days by fasting and afflicting ourselves. The 17th of Tammuz is a minor fast day - no food or drink during the daylight hours. It begins a period of mourning - new clothes only if necessary or not purchasing would mean a loss of money, no live music or weddings, no haircuts and men whose employment permits it do not shave. The first day of the month of Av (the New Moon), which is tonight, begins a deeper mourning - no meat, no clean clothes, no bathing for pleasure, no swimming. On the Ninth Day (Tisha B'Av - the Ninth of Av), we abstain from food and drink, sex, bathing, clean clothes, annointing ourselves and leather shoes - all for 25 hours. We also sit, like mourners, in low chairs and do not greet each other, and we do not study Torah except as concerns the Destruction.

It's the worst day in the year. In the Northern hemisphere, it's high summer - hot and the day ends after nine pm. And you spend it in contemplation of this awful thing.