Tuesday, July 20, 2004


That’s a rhetorical question, of course.

Take, for example, Tisha B’Av, the most mournful day in the Jewish calendar - this year, observed at sundown on Monday, July 26. Commemorating the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem as well as numerous other calamities which are said to have befallen the Jews on the ninth day of the month Av, this is not your “have a nice day” kind of holiday. Customarily, you don’t even greet people with “good morning” on Tisha B’Av - there is nothing good about it. And what fun - you sit on the floor reading the Book of Lamentations, not to mention fasting for 25 hours. Oh yeah - and no sex. Sex might be pleasurable, and pleasure ain’t on the agenda.

I know you’re thinking, “What is it with Jews and food, anyway? I mean, don’t they fast on Yom Kippur (or whateverthehell that holiday is)?” Well, yes. But we fast for a different reason then. Yom Kippur is solemn - the Day of Atonement on which we are weighed in the balance and (we hope) not found wanting. It’s like going to court for a trial. Your trial. So you dress up nice and act serious, and you avoid distractions like food. But Tisha B’Av is different. You’re supposed to be too depressed to eat on Tisha B’Av. It’s just plain sad.

And because it is sad, I will make light of it:

The Rabbis tell us Tisha B’Av
Is not a day for making love.
On other days, when making love,
It’s nice to have the tush above.

No comments: