On Shabbat in synagogues around the world we announced that on Monday we will be marking Rosh Hodesh (the first day of the month of) Av. We are already in the midst of the three weeks marking the period between the time that the walls of Jerusalem were breached (17th Tamuz) before the first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and the the 9th of Av 586 B.C.E (and again on that very same date by the Romans 70 C.E.) The 9th of Av, known as Tisha B'Av is a fast day in commemoration of the destruction and the book of Eicha (Lamentations) is read in the synagogue.
- I would like to recommend a series of podcasts published on the Internet by KMTT a daily podcast from Yeshivat Har Etzion which is just part of an amazing set of Torah resources made available by the Yeshiva. The series consists of 9 installments of about 30-40 minutes recorded by Dr. Yael Ziegler in 2009 found here. Dr. Ziegler teaches at the Herzog College in Gush Etzion and at Matan Women's Institute for Torah Learning in Jerusalem. She looks at the book through literary analysis and historic perspective without loosing sight of the religious message for all generations. I have listened to the series once and plan to listen again this week in preparation for this year's fast.
May we merit that this year the fast be cancelled and we all instead celebrate instead the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. Amen.