Monday, August 8, 2011

By The Rivers of Babylon

There We Sat; There We Wept:  As we prepare to begin our observance of Tisha b"Av, there are many web sites that offer lists of the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish People on this day and explanations of why these terrible things have happened.

Here is what Abq Jew has learned over the years, from many different sources: The reason for the destruction of the Second Temple was sinat hinam - causeless hatred; and the only thing that can bring the Messianic Age is ahavat hinam - causeless love.

Until then, we mourn - for the way things are, for the way things might have been.  And each of us mourns in his or her own way - even with music.  No, music is not the Tish b"Av tradition.  But if one needs music to mourn, J.J. Goldberg of The Jewish Daily Forward has a playlist.  Goldberg says:
The first number couldn’t be anything but “Al Naharot Bavel,” By the Waters of Babylon. The words are from Psalm 137 and tell of the exiles weeping after the destruction of the First Temple on the ninth of Av, 586 BCE: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea we wept when we remembered Zion.” This is the classic version many of us remember, performed by Basya Schechter.

No comments: