with this caption: Crab walk with abba—Going to be a LONG fast for abba with all this exercise ha ha”
Abba is Hebrew for father, which my grandchildren call their dads, my sons.
Here’s our email exchange:
“Fast? What fast?”
“It’s Tisha B’Av, one of the 2 major fasts (on par with Yom Kippur). I’m fasting too.”
“You’re pregnant? You can’t fast.”
“Pregnant women are required to fast too unless they go into labor or sick.”
“In this heat?”
“We’re staying in ac.”
“Can you at least drink water?”
“No food or water. If I start to feel ill then our rabbi said to eat/drink little amounts (and break fast completely if I go into labor).”
Relieved that they’ll stay cool though worried about them fasting—they’ve both skinny and she’s so close to delivery date– I did some reading about this holiday.
Tisha B’Av honors the date when the first and second Temples were destroyed in Jerusalem thousands of years ago and the subsequent exile and persecution of Jews throughout other periods in history.
The commemoration lasts three weeks, beginning this year June 25, and ends with a fast that began last night and ends at sundown today. It’s considered the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.
Later in the morning, my cousin David posted on Facebook:
“Not much of a fan of organized religion, but I do like history and tradition. Today I am fasting (so far, anyway) because it is Tisha B’Av. A day dedicated to memory of massacres and destruction of Jerusalem 2000 years, and a good time to think of other slaughters and personal losses.
Most of the major religions require a fast period.
I get it. I just can’t do it. I fasted in college on Yom Kippur a couple of times. I have to fast before I get blood work or before any surgical procedure. I guess I don’t connect spiritually and just get too hungry. And if I’m hungry, I’m very grouchy.
Yet if fasting helps us reflect about history and ourselves, perhaps more should try it.
As my cousin wrote: “A contemplation of the horrors of history (and of current horrors, of course) makes one question the wisdom and sanity of our species.”
Food for thought. Or in this case, thought for fast.
I wish all those observing an easy fast.