Thursday, July 2, 2015
Shabbat-O-Gram July 2 A "Fast" Fourth
TBE High School grads honored here last weekend
Since I indicated that Shabbat-O-Gram would be on summer hiatus, let's call this a Not-O-Gram.
The Fourth of July...a FAST day? Well, not exactly. But the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which falls this year this Saturday, is postponed until Sunday in order to avoid a conflict with Shabbat (the only fast day that can occur on Shabbat is Yom Kippur). It's a minor fast, with lots of obscure historical reasons for it. The most important thing to know is that it begins the Three Weeks of mourning and reflection that culminate in Tisha B'Av, which commemorates the fall of Jerusalem (twice) and other national disasters.
How sobering, to be celebrating American independence, on the one hand, while simultaneously commemorating the loss, several times, of Jewish national independence. I guess the prevailing message is that with nationhood comes responsibility. There is a fine line separating the flaming fireworks of celebration and the flames of a burning temple. The Star Spangled Banner itself was written during a massive British bombing, not a pyrotechnic Pops concert. So there is reason to be sobered even within our celebrating, and to eat one less hot dog, perhaps, as a means of recalling the 17th of Tammuz.
In the middle of all this stands Shabbat, which is, after all, the only thing that keeps us from having a fast day ON the fourth. On this Shabbat, with the weather forecast a good one, we are planning to do services BOTH Friday evening and Shabbat morning OUTDOORS. We will park ourselves just across from our mitzvah garden, giving families with kids a chance to wander over to our playground if need be. If the weather takes an unexpected turn and plans change, we'll send an email out on Friday.
What better way to celebrate our freedom then by praying together, camp style, at one with nature. We'll begin on Friday night at our new/old time of 7:30, and on Shabbat morning at 9:30.
And morning minyan (indoors) will be at 9 AM on Friday AND Sunday this week. With so many people away, we definitely can use the help at our minyan!
Shabbat Shalom, Happy Fourth of Jew-ly... and an easy fast!
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman