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Today is, essentially, a national day of mourning for the Jewish people. It’s the ninth day of Av on the Jewish calendar — “Tisha B’Av.”
Some Jews will fast, more will simply pause to remember the many tragedies suffered through two millennia. Today’s “headliners” are the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem — both are believed to have fallen on this day — but there are, as even a casual reader of history should know, so many more.
Because the Jewish people survived, Jews have an ability — some would describe it as a mandate — to remember, and to mourn. Tomorrow, the joy of life returns, for as we’re told in Ecclesiastes (and reminded through the music of Pete Seeger—
There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance … to every thing there is a season, and time to every purpose under heaven.
In Iowa, where there are few Jews and [outside the kosher NE Iowa meatpacking town of Postville] only a tiny number of “observant” Jews, marketing-maven Michael Libbie today takes a break in his daily “Insight on Business” internet-TV program to explain Tisha B’Av to his non-Jewish neighbors. Catch it if you can — it’ll be on for about half-an-hour starting at 1 pm ET (follow this link at 1 pm —http://www.webcastonelive.com/watch-live-now/ — The program will start after a 30-second Remax commercial).
Here’s a preview: