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Ta Shema: July 27, 2023

Grow Around Grief

Tisha B’Av is a hard day. It’s both taxing spiritually and physically as well as a hard day to connect to in modernity. I also think when commemorated properly and contextualized, it might be the day we need the most. Mourning rituals when we, God forbid, lose someone are important to begin the process of figuring out what life looks like after loss. But after we lose someone, logistics are the farthest thing on our mind. Tisha B’Av allows a place on the calendar to grieve whatever it is we need to grieve without distractions. It’s the cathartic cry that we need for the ongoing maintenance of our grief processing. As I often say: Grief does not lessen over time—we learn to grow around our grief. A few times a year, it is not only healthy but necessary to let grief come to the fore so that we can tend to it, and in doing so tend to ourselves. 

This month has highlighted in our community what it means grow around grief. Not only to grow, but to flourish. 

During what is considered the saddest part of the Hebrew calendar due to Tisha B’Av, we have had two baby namings and a Bar Mitzvah. The Israeli Scouts came back for the first time in three years and the social hall was filled with the most people we have had attend an event in our building since before the pandemic. It reminds me of the beautiful flowers I used to see growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk in New York City. No matter what, life always finds a way. 

May we tend to the cracks so that we may especially appreciate the flowers.

B'Shalom, 

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Click here to read more about Tisha B'Av

Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784