SUNDAY, July 22nd

This coming Sunday, we will observe the fast of Tisha B’av. We will take day out of our lives to mourn, not only the destruction of the temple and the 2,000 year exile of the Jewish people, but also the violence, tragedy and destruction we see in the world today, which are symptoms of the same underlying brokenness. There is much work to do to remedy and combat the darkness around us, but for one night and a day, we stop and simply mourn, because before we can change what is broken, we have to acknowledge what is broken.

Saturday night, after Shabbat ends, we will gather in shul and sit on the floor in the dark reading Eicha, the book of Lamentations (bring your own light source to read by).  After services that night, and in the morning after Shacharit, we will recite Kinot (elegiacal liturgical poems) that bewail the great tragedies of our history from the sin of the Golden Calf to the destruction of Shoah. This is not a happy experience, but it can be a deeply and a powerful experience if we open ourselves up to the solemnity and the sorrow of this day.

Please see below for a full schedule of programming at KI throughout the fast day, featuring classes and talks by our guest rabbi from the Torah u’mesorah Seed Program, Shaya Ungar.

I invite you to join us, not only in fasting and attending shul, but also in another important project related to the fast. The Rashba says that on fast days, one should give to Tzedakah the money one saved by not eating and drinking.  In that spirit, KI is partnering with an organization called Fast for Feast to collect donations and split them between Leket Israel (the largest anti-hunger organization in Israel) and the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.  I encourage you to visit fastforfeast.org/kitc in order to join me in supporting this effort; it doesn’t have to be much: $10, $18, whatever you’d ordinarily spend on food and beverages for the day.  In this way, together we can connect our fasting and prayers to the concrete, practical work of building a more just, righteous society here and in Israel.

May Zion be rebuilt and may peace come to Jerusalem speedily and in our days.

Wishing you an Easy Fast,

Rabbi Garth Silberstein