Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tisha B'Av; 30 years and back.

Last night as a I lay in bed, I wondered about a Tisha B'Av posting for my blog.

I already wrote a posting yesterday afternoon, but it rests incomplete as a draft -- a fragment of what I and many others felt 2 years ago on Tisha B'Av, hours before the Disengagement.

Instead, a totally different memory came back to me -- a 30-something year-old latent recollection...

Trying hard to focus on the memory, the colors from the 70's seemed a bit faded -- not as vibrant as they must have been that hot, humid summer day in suburban America.

My mother had gone grocery shopping on Tisha B'Av afternoon and asked me to carry in the groceries from the car.

Shlepping them back and forth, I picked up a 24-can case of what must have been "Pathmark" brand cola, and one of the cans slipped out and fell on the pavement.

It started hissing -- and as I picked it up it exploded...cola...everywhere.

I believe I was fasting at the time (it was definitely before my Bar Mitzva), and the can's contents showered me the point that it was dripping from my hair. Of course, I didn't drink any and I laughed at what a funny sight it must have been.

Picking up the remaining cans, I resume walking to my home down the path when I was stopped by a car's honk from the street.

Turning around, I walked back to the car, (still carrying a dripping case of soda cans), and I walked to the passenger side window. The window slid down, and the driver was the Rabbi of our shul. I smiled broadly and said "hi," as cola continued to drip down my forehead onto my shirt.

The Rabbi seemed a bit annoyed at my demeanor; perhaps it being my cola-soaked shirt or my jovial smile on Tisha B'Av afternoon -- and he asked that I get my father from our house. I hardly noticed the distinguished person sitting in the front passenger seat, near the window I was poking my head through.

I ran to the house, got my father, and continued putting away the groceries.

About 20 minutes later, my father returned to the house and asked if I knew who was sitting in the car with our community Rabbi.

I had no clue...

My father, shaking his head in disbelief looking at my cola stained shirt on Tisha B'Av said to me, that was one of the Gedolei HaDor...that was Rav Soloveitchik zt'l..."The Rav."

I knew who the "Rav" was...and immediately felt rather uncomfortable (and I was a kid at the time!)

That Tisha B'Av in the 1970's was the first time I would meet the "Rav".

Why did this memory pop into my head last night after 30 something years?

It might have been the mention of the Maimonides school in the NY Times and the excellent responses by R' Gil Student or Chana.

Maybe it was a Tisha B'Av fragment of hearing the Rav mournfully sing Eilee Tzion, the last of the Kinot from Tisha B'Av morning (I recall hearing it on audio 10 years ago, and was impressed it's still on the same site -- you can hear other shiurim from the Rav there as well).

Perhaps it was a only reminder that things always go wrong on Tisha B'Av.

Maybe I'll write a bit later about Tisha B'Av 2 years ago.

Till then, may we merit the redemption of Am Yisrael today.

--Jameel.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

5 comments:

ifyouwillit... said...

Have a meaningful fast.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I'm not thrilled with the idea of a day where "things always go wrong." It's a bit too superstitious for my taste.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

anonymous: Thats what R' Soloveitchik might have said as well...

the only way i know said...

it's a sad little story, from the point of view that instead of being viewed from the righteous point of view that you were helping your mom, got uncomfortably sprayed with soda, and yet didn't lick in order to keep fasting - you seemed to have perceived that you were looked at in a manner of annoyance or disapproval.

I hope - Rav Soloveitchik, being the great man he is..held you in esteem- no matter how 'cute' and scruffy you looked!

;)

daat y said...

GRreat story.
I remember the first time I met the Rav.I was walking into the men's room at Yeshiva and the Rav was walking out.I remember thinking I know I have to go to the bathroom-but the Rav also has to go to the men' room?

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