Monday, 31 July 2017
God gives us delight in His presence
Tisha B'Av - the 9small>th day of Av - begins tonight as the Jewish people mourn tragic events in our history, particularly the destruction of the First and Second Temples. It is traditional to read from the book of Lamentations ...
In the days of her affliction and anguish, Yerushalayim remembers all the treasures that were hers, ever since ancient times. Now her people fall into the power of the foe, and she has no one to help her; her enemies are gloating over her, mocking her desolation. Yerushalayim sinned grievously; therefore she has become unclean. All who honored her now despise her, because they have seen her naked. She herself also moans and turns her face away.
I have been so deprived of peace, I have so forgotten what happiness is, that I think, "My strength is gone, and so is my hope in Adonai." Remember my utter misery, the wormwood and the gall. They are always on my mind; this is why I am so depressed. But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope - that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended.
On the contrary, they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness! "Adonai is all I have," I say; "therefore I will put my hope in him. Adonai is good to those waiting for him, to those who are seeking him out. It is good to wait patiently for the saving help of Adonai."
Don't both bad things and good proceed from the mouth of the Most High? Why should anyone alive complain, even a strong man, about the punishment for his sins? Let us examine and test our ways and return to Adonai. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven and say, "We, for our part, have transgressed and rebelled; you, for your part, have not forgiven." (CJB)
Three of our congregations are having Tisha B'Av services this evening - Shomair Yisrael in Knoxville TN, Brit Hadasha in Memphis TN and Beth Shalom in Corona CA. If you're in any of these areas, why not go along and join with our People in comemorating this day?