I finished off Tisha B’Av by baking my mom’s triple chocolate cake at 10:00 last night, so this morning I came in to work hyped on nothing but orange juice and triple chocolate cake. At which point, one of the cantorial students started giving me immediate, practical tips on how to better plan my wedding. Which was very odd, because as I repeatedly told her, I’m not getting married any time soon. She is, though, so I guess I can excuse that.
Tisha B’Av always has very strong associations for me. For one, it’s right around the anniversary of my grandmother’s death. I was very close to her, and as we’d spent the previous year in Israel, I didn’t get to see her for the whole year. She died the day before we were scheduled to come back. The mourning aspects of Tisha B’Av always feel more potent to me because of that.
On top of that, for the longest time, my family spent summers in Jerusalem whenever possible. My most potent memories of Tisha B’Av from childhood are of sitting with my mother on the Tayelet, the stone promenade that overlooks the Old City, quietly murmuring the liturgy of mourning the destruction of Jerusalem as the searchlights illumine the Dome of the Rock.