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Turn My Weeping Into Dancing

July 1, 2021


Shall we hold a memorial service to mourn those lost to COVID? That question has circulated in a variety of interfaith discussion groups. Most agree that it is important to mark the losses of the pandemic, including lives lost as well as the variety of physical and emotional hardships that many experienced.

But how and when?

Judaism understands that we need time to mourn. We mourn our personal losses throughout the year at Yarzheits and at Yizkor. We also have an annual day of mourning that is coming up this month ‐ Tisha B'Av. Tisha B'Av, marking the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples, invites us to chant Lamentations, to grieve deeply and in so doing, pave the way for healing, for teshuvah and ultimately for joy. Tisha B'Av begins the arc of the High Holiday season, inviting us to embrace the pain of loss before we enter the spiritual work of the Days of Awe, ending in a joyful dance on Simhat Torah.

This year Tisha B'Av begins the evening of July 17th. BI will gather on zoom, to mark a traditional Tisha B'Av while we also create space for mourning the losses of the pandemic.

A wise person once told me, "you can't heal what you won't let yourself feel". Tisha B'Av invites us to feel loss and pain in the safety of a prayerful container. Let's embrace this together. It is a step on the road of turning our weeping into dancing.

Thu, November 30 2023 17 Kislev 5784