Tonight we begin the observation of Tisha B’Av, one of the saddest days of the Jewish year, with the reading of the Book of Lamentations.
But as sad as Tisha B’Av is, and as we lament the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem, let me make a personal observation.
For me, July has always been the saddest month of the year.
My mother died on July 9, 1969 at the age of 47. I was only 22 years old.
On July 16, 1980, my father passed away. He was only 59 years old. Interestingly, my dad was commander of JWV Post 718. He was buried on July 18 or 7/18.
On July 22, 1984, my nephew, Justin Roteman, passed away. Tragically, he was only 7 years old.
Yes, July was a very, very sad month with much for me to lament.
But we are taught that God balances sadness with joy, and, as it is stated in the Book of Ecclesiastes, there is a time to be born and a time to die.
And so, in my life, July has turned from a time of the worst possible sorrows to one of rebirth and joy. My 89 year old father in law, Hy Ginsberg, celebrated his birthday on July 5. My nephew, Dylan Ginsberg, celebrated his birthday on July 9, the same day as my mother’s death. My stepson, Josh, will celebrate his birthday tomorrow, July 16, on the anniversary of my father’s death. And my stepdaughter, Shaina, will celebrate her birthday on July 18, the anniversary of my dad’s funeral.
And so, as we lament the destruction of our holy temples, let us have faith that just as God has put joy back into my Julys, He will also bring us a Messiah to provide joy to his Chosen People and all of mankind.