Tisha B’av 2020
It can be challenging to engage the whole family in observing Tisha B’Av. After all, it is a day of fasting, prayer and reflection; these are not necessarily “kid friendly” activities. That said, there are important elements of this holiday that can resonate even with younger children, namely creating memories and bringing more love into the world.
Tisha B’Av is a day dedicated to Jewish memory. It is a time that we think about our community centered around a single place of worship, coming together for major holidays, and living in a bustling Jerusalem. It is an opportunity to think about what community has meant to us and the times we have felt most engaged in Jewish life.
The rabbis of the Talmud have blamed the destruction of the Temple on baseless hatred, or sinat chinam, forcing us to reckon with our own behavior and how we treat each other. Many Jewish communities use Tisha B’Av as an opportunity to do the opposite, which is to love our community or do acts of ahavat chinam.
Based on the themes of memory and ahavat chinam, we have created some ideas that you can do as a family to engage with Tisha B’Av at home. Also included in this list are links to National Ramah services as well as music reflective of the holiday.
Wednesday, July 29th at 8:00pm EDT: Eicha Reading – Join with the Ramah community across North America to begin Tisha B’Av with Eicha (Lamentations) Reading and Reflections from Israel. Click here to view Eicha Reading live on the Ramah Israel Israel Facebook page.
Thursday, July 30th at 4:00pm EDT: Virtual Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem and Mincha Service — As we transition out of Tisha B’Av, join with our friends at Ramah Israel in song and prayer. Click here to view the service live on the Ramah Israel Facebook page.
Local Service Opportunities:
Donate Masks to Jewish Child and Family Services – https://www.jewishboston.com/make-masks-for-jfcs/
Deliver Shabbat meals to home-bound eldery and front line heroes with JewBer – https://www.jewishboston.com/deliver-shabbat-meals-with-jewber/
Volunteer at Grocery Distribution Events with Family Table – https://www.jewishboston.com/volunteer-with-family-table/
Donate masks to Masks for Heroes throughout CT – https://jewishnewhaven.org/masksforct
Make and donate food to Martha’s Table in DC – https://marthastable.org/give/in-kind-donations/
Donate food to Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring, MD – https://www.shepherdstable.org/wish-list/
Family Time Capsule
Tisha B’av is about memory. We remember the destruction of the temples, and connect it to other historical events in Jewish history. One way to preserve memories is with a time capsule. In a time capsule, each person can contribute a personal memory, and together the capsule represents our collective memory.
Materials needed: Paper, pens and/or markers, and a container (such as a tennis ball can, envelope, or small box).
Using paper and pens, write down and/or draw memories!
For example, you could write or draw:
- Your favorite memory
- A time you felt community this year
- Memory of something difficult
- Memory of when you felt accomplished
- Something you will remember about COVID
- What you love about being Jewish or why being Jewish is important to your family
You should collect these memories in a box or envelope, and then save it in a safe place. Revisit the time capsule next summer to reflect on this year’s memories.
We have compiled a list of a few songs that represent the themes of Tisha B’av.
Ramah New England does not own the rights to any of these songs.
Eli, Eli (Words by Hannah Senesh, Performed by Ofir Ben Shitrit)
Ben Snof – If I foget thee, O Jerusalem