Vacation Greeting

Oasis Songs: Musings from Rav D
Friday, August 9, 2019 / 8 Av 5779

Summary: Rabbi Kosak is on vacation visiting family back east. So Oasis Songs in full will return on August 23rd. In the meantime, he wants to inform you that another build date for our Tiny Home project occurs this Sunday. We have other groups in the Jewish community who have stated their intentions to join us then. Click here for details or visit this website:

Below is a short message marking another opportunity


A quick message to you as I spend time with my family back east. This Shabbat, we have the juxtaposition of two events. One is the beginning of the book of Deuteronomy, and the other is the 9th of Av, or Tisha B’av. Tisha B’Av represents the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, as it commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple.

The midrashic imagination states that the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. At heart, this is a statement that we could not overcome the different ways we saw the world or harmonize our divergent agendas. In other words, there were real reasons to disagree, but no real reasons to allow hatred to overtake us.

Although most Jews today can’t imagine returning to the rituals and forms of worship that our ancestors practiced, we certainly can relate to the loss of a common mode of worship. While there were other earlier moments in Jewish history where our national identity was threatened by fragmentation, we still struggle today to find common language and values. The ninth of Av is a reminder that we choose to remain connected to community. When we instead choose to sever those bonds, we all are lessened.

On those occasions when Tisha B’av falls on Shabbat, the holiness of Shabbat takes precedence. Thus the fast and the chanting of the book of lamentations is delayed until Saturday night. I want to thank Rabbi Eve and Cantor Bitton for running services tomorrow night, along with our lay volunteers who are participating.

The commemoration begins at 9:15 pm on Saturday night, and will continue on Sunday morning at 9 am.

Apart from the historical crisis which we mark, there is a power to gathering together, knowing that across the world, Jews of all stripes and beliefs also gather to mourn and to remember. There is something redemptive in this act–it seems the way we build again the nation that was fractured long ago. Even as we pray in our own spaces, our common efforts at memory remind us that we are all one family.

In a world where we oftentimes forget that we are all part of one common human family, Tisha B’av provides a model. However you mark the day, I hope you will take some moments to reflect on what we lost, and imagine how we might once again reclaim those ties of solidarity.

With prayers from afar,

Rav D

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