Tisha B’Av is a holiday you may not know a lot about or that perhaps you've never really connected to in the past. The holiday doesn't get a lot of great publicity because we can't serve latkes and jelly donuts and it doesn't have a Seder plate. The holiday is Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of the Jewish Month of Av).
Tisha B'Av is a fast day and mourns the destruction of the First and Second Temple as well as additional infamous events that occurred throughout history on that day (ie: the first crusades, Warsaw Ghetto liquidation, etc)
Perhaps a sad, fast day doesn't really sound like your "thing" – we understand that. Often times we’re asked – “why should I care about the destruction of a Temple in 586BCE when I live in current day Cincinnati?” It's a fair question. We think if you reflect for a moment, or talk to a congregant who has been to Israel - every stone has a story, every section of land has a past. Tisha B’Av marks the moment our lives were altered.
So, if you decide to attend a Tisha B’Av program at our Synagogue here is what you can expect. We engage in a group experience be it an art-based project or a museum style exhibit which lasts about 30 minutes. Following the group project, we'll sit inside our darkened chapel and by candle light we will hear the Book of Lamentations chanted. We have six talented women who chant the chapters using the traditional sad melody. The tune transcends words and brings the meaning of this spiritual holiday to heart.
Below are photos from some of our previous Tisha B'Av programs.
"Soldering through the Sadness" - August 10, 2019
We learned to solder and turn metal into art as we explored the words from the Prophet Isaiah "….and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. "
Photo depicts a yad made out of bullet shell-casings and wire
Eicha: A Journey of the Senses - July 21, 2018
We created an exhibit consisting of five stations each one connected to one of our senses and designed to evoke emotion. From the images we saw, the jarred scents that elicited memories of Temple times, and the sad melodies that played during the exhibit - Tisha B'av became more than just a fast day.
Photo depicts the display housed in our Chapel
collaborative Art Installation - July 31, 2017
We participated in a collaborative art installation where each person received a sliver of a picture and was asked to recreate it on a larger wooden slat. By combining all the slats a picture of Jerusalem was formed. In addition congregants were asked to bring in Judaic items that were particularly meaningful to them and a display was shown that evening.
Photo depicts congregants painting this unique art installation.
Tisha B'av - August 13, 2016
We traveled back through time on an audio/visual tour of the events said to have happened on Tisha B’av. Along the way we heard the voices of nine fellow congregants in their native languages describing the impact of this day. Languages included: Spanish, Hungarian, Mandarin, Afrikaans, German, Japanese, English and Hebrew
Photo depicts congregants waiting to walk through the exhibit