Is Tisha b’Av still relevant today? - www.jewishaz.com: Feature

Feature Is Tisha b’Av still relevant today?

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:00 am

It is a testament to the amazing variability of Jewish synagogue life in America that the summertime fast of Tisha b’Av is for some a time of momentous communal mourning, and for others a normal and unremarkable day. In contrast to Yom Kippur, which sees widespread observance in one fashion or another across the denominational spectrum, Tisha b’Av and its ritual restrictions (which are nearly identical to those of Yom Kippur) are unfamiliar to a sizable contingent of American Jews.

A bit of anecdotal evidence: This author recently worked as the Judaics director for a summer camp affiliated with the JCC movement and was asked to put together a brief Tisha b’Av ceremony, something this particular camp had never before included in its Jewish programming. The campers were so incredulous about the existence of this holy day that many were whispering to each other that it had been invented by the camp staff as a color war breakout prank.

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