We just completed the Fast of the 9th Av (Tisha B’Av) which commemorates the destruction of the 1st (586 BCE) and 2nd (70 CE)
I find fasting to be rather spiritual, particularly as we get to the end of the day and your body starts to consume its stored energy. You really do reach a higher spiritual plane. Tisha B’Av is supposed to be a melancholy time as the House of the Lord was laid to ruin. As I was sitting on the floor last night at synagogue (another sign of mourning), listening to the words of Eichah, the book of Lamentations written by Jeremiah, which we read on this somber day, I was reminded of all of the places around the world I’ve been on this holiday, including Tokyo among them. I then thought of a quote that has been attributed to Napoleon, who was walking by a synagogue in
Well, we had some intensity today. My wife didn’t fare as well. I begged her to eat, seeing as she’s a nursing mother. Stubborn as she is, however, she didn’t and eventually got so dehydrated, I think, that she had dry heaves and then threw up. Not a pleasant sight, but certainly a strong reminder of the pain and suffering that our ancestors must have felt on this day.
And now...it's pouring, and I do mean, pouring outside. It's like G-d is saying to us, "ok, now we're beginning the spiritual cleansing process that will lead us over the next 7 weeks to the Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year.)"