Monday, July 31, 2017

With Unexpected Reverence

Tisha b'Av 2017: With deep humility, Abq Jew reminds himself and you, his loyal readers, that reverence may arise from many different quarters, and may often arise unexpectedly.

The secular (if there is such a thing) may resonate spiritually, and the simple facts of history may take on meanings far beyond mere personalities, deeds, and dates.

As we approach Tisha b'Av

Last year (see Happy Cats in Av) Abq Jew wrote:

What Happened on Tisha b'Av

The classic 5 calamities:
  1. The Twelve Spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. 
  2. The First Temple built by King Solomon  was destroyed by the Babylonians. 
  3. The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans.
  4. The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba's revolt, destroyed the city of Betar, and 
  5. plowed the site of the Temple in Jerusalem and the surrounding area.
And more calamities:
  1. The First Crusade officially commenced.
  2. The Jews were expelled from England.
  3. The Jews were expelled from France.
  4. The Jews were expelled from Spain.
  5. Germany entered World War I.
  6. The "Final Solution" was approved by the Nazi Party.
  7. The mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka began.
And even more calamities:
  1. The AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed.
  2. The Israeli disengagement from Gaza began.
We are Jews, and we continue to have hope. 
Even as we prepare for Shabbat Hazon, A Sabbath of Vision.

This year, as we approach Tisha b'Av, we are not supposed to be joyous or joyful, or even just happy. And we are not supposed to do anything that will make us happy.

For Abq Jew, and for many others, this means no listening to (especially, live) music. But sometimes music doesn't make us happy - it makes us think (see, for example, By the Rivers of Babylon 2015).

Therefore, Abq Jew offers - for your introspection - Western Wall, the title song of the 1999 duet album -

Western Wall: The Tuscon Sessions

Written by Rosanne Cash; performed by Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. The "spare arrangement and delicate harmonies" lend a "wonderful wistfulness" to the song, says Theresa E LaVec in her AllMusic Review.

Western Wall

I stand here by the Western Wall
Maybe a little of that wall stands inside of us all
I shove my prayers in the cracks
I've got nothing to lose no one to answer back

All these years I've brought up for review
Wasn't taught this but I learned something new
And to answer the distance call
At the Western Wall

I've got a heart full of fear
And I offer it on this alter of tears
Red dust settles deep in my skin
I don't know where it start and where I begin

It's a crumbling pile of broken stones
It ain't much but it might be home
If I ever loved a place at all
It's the Western Wall

I don't know if God was ever a man
But if she was I think I understand
Why he found a place to break his fall
Near the Western Wall

May we be comforted among the mourners
of Zion and Jerusalem

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