The walk between my Jerusalem apartment and yeshiva, a walk that I took multiple times a day, included a series of steps. Little of consequence ever happened to me on those steps, or anywhere else on the path for that matter.
But this night was different, at least it would be. It was the night of Tisha B’Av (9 Av,) and I, like hundreds of others, had gone to hear the mournful recitation of Eicha (Lamentations) on the yeshiva’s hallowed floors, just a stone’s throw from where the harrowing scenes of annihilation and destruction had occurred on two separate occasions (first during the Babylonian period and then at the hands of Titus and the Romans.) Together with everyone else in the yeshiva, I had recited the first set of kinnos (dirges, elegies), and tried my best to understand their powerful message. But, as I had in years past, I failed to make a deeper connection, one that evoked any form of emotive response. Despite four years of study in Israel and three Tisha B’Av experiences in the Holy Land, I remained sufficiently disconnected from the day’s tragic, somber history as to not shed even a single tear.Read More