This week’s Torah portion, Dvarim (דְּבָרִים), is the 44th (44/54 or 52, depending on the year: this year, it’s 54…) reading in the annual cycle, the first in the book of that name, from Dvarim/Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22.
This book is basically a second redaction, for that reason called Deut, of the earlier laws, and many of them are restated in the book of Dvarim (words).
Interestingly, today, the 6th of August, 12022 HE, also happens to fall on the 9th day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar, which is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar: the observance of the destruction of the Temple.
Which temple, you ask. Both.
The night of Kristallnacht, 9th November, also fell on a ninth of a month two moons away from the Start of the year (though the Hebrew calendar actually starts the count in Nisan…) and so Tisha b’Av is seen as a day of cyclical dread. The three weeks before are observed by many, even still, as The Three Weeks, with Rosh Chodesh Av, the start of this month, beginning The Nine Days, of intense mourning. I have always admired this communal descent into depression as a way of building empathy for those who suffer with depression or trauma in their every day lives. These three weeks give the entire community a way to understand what a traumatized or depressed person goes through (yes, there is a difference, but in acute trauma reactions, it is often difficult to distinguish…).
This emphasizes, as will be repeated in various coming parshiot, the need to help one another, as a community. And the need for empathy. For all.
What do you think this holiday does to build an empathetic society?
I look forward to hearing your opinions on this matter, Thoughtful Readers.
We can really Do Better.
Last week was: Parashat Matot מַּטּוֹת 5782, & Outliers Still Have To Help
I look forward to hearing your opinions, Thoughtful Readers.
We can really Do Better.
Share your thoughts on how to build buy-in to create a more equal, or at least less inequitable, society, please. Guest posts are always welcome.
Writing, by the way, is my personal contribution to Project Do Better
What would yours be, if you had the spare time and energy?
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Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BsCs
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