Acknowledge our Grief.
Jewish tradition is very good at reminding us to embrace the painful memories, even as we are celebrating the joyful ones. For example, at the end of a wedding ceremony, we step on a glass, momentarily shattering the happiness with a reminder of the time when the Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed.
For many of us, our lives are starting to come back to normal: we are going out to restaurants, seeing shows, visiting friends, traveling, and stepping back into the world around us. However, it’s important to take a moment to recognize that over the past year and a half, we’ve all experienced a tremendous amount of pain, and it’s appropriate to grieve for what we lost. It may have been as profound as losing a relative or a friend. Or it may have been less irreplaceable but still painful, like missing a crucial milestone - a major birthday or anniversary, prom, or an in-person graduation ceremony. For my family, we weren’t able to celebrate my son’s Bar Mitzvah in-person (though we did pull-off an epic Zoom Mitzvah, which you can watch here).
This weekend, we commemorate Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, which is a day of communal mourning. It primarily denotes the day of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples, but it has come to embody many of the disasters that have befallen the Jews over the millennia. So, for this Tisha B’Av, let’s take a moment to acknowledge our grief – all our grief – and to say a blessing for what we’ve lost, and to say another blessing for what we still have.