Tisha b'Av is considered the saddest day in the Hebrew calendar, a day when many tragedies befell us, including the paradigm shifting destruction of the Second Temple in Jeruslaem. It is tradition to delve into destruction on this day, and then, like the Phoenix, begin the process of rebirth and rebuilding.
One fo the oldest Jewish practices, along with honoring the new moon (Rosh Chodesh/Kiddush Levana) and harvest festivals, is the holding of 4 seasonal Ancestor Fires. The one most known and still practiced today is the spring fire at Lag b'Omer. The others fall at the end of Succos/Hoshana Rabah, the Winter Solstice and Tisha b'Av, which begins Monday night.
The Tisha b'Av Ancestor Fire is an opportunity to gather and invite our ancestors in to do some healing of our personal and family/ancestral lines.Monday night, we will sit together by the fire and invite our ancestors to join us, tell stories of our families (for whom are you named?), and begin to step into the grief and destruction of this day with them as our guides.
There is also a tradition that Messiah is born the afternoon of Tisha b'Av, which will be Tuesday evening before sunset. Out of the ruins, the grief, the despair, bursts forth hope, the future. We will gather again Tuesday evening, with our ancestors, to go into the destruction and then collectively birth Messiah into the world. As sunset shadows us and Tisha b'Av ends, we will rise out of destruction into rebirth with chant and song.
Monday, July 15
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Tuesday, July 16