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    A time to weep – Tishah B’Av

    Kohelet 3:4 says there is a time for everything. One of his examples is that there is a time to weep. Rashi says, “On Tishah B’Av”.

    Does Rashi mean that Tishah B’Av is a time for individuals to weep, or does he mean national Jewish weeping?

    To both questions the answer is “yes”, but there is a further possibility – a time for humanity to weep.

    You might reply, “But most people have never heard of Tishah B’Av. How can they weep on a day of which they have no knowledge at all?”

    You do not need to know Tishah B’Av to observe it. Treat it as a symbol of the universal human experience of tragedy.

    We are puzzled at the tragedies for which we think God has responsibility, but what about tragedies which human beings cause to other human beings?

    Where people ought to be able to spread love they often show hate. Where they ought to kindle light they often plunge other people’s lives into darkness.

    We don’t necessarily advocate putting Tishah B’Av on the non-Jewish calendar, but we pray that the world will adopt the alternative notion of Kohelet that there should be a time (hopefully every day) to celebrate love and light.

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