Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tisha B'Av 5769

Today's date per the Hebrew calendar is 9 Av 5769. The 9th day of Av (Tisha B'Av in Hebrew) commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Other calamities, large and small, have occurred to the Jewish people on the 9th of Av. Accordingly, it is a very sad day. I have been fasting since last evening, and will not break the fast until after sunset tonight.

From the 1st day of the month of Av, it has been no meat or wine (except Shabbat). The no wine part does not particularly affect me, inasmuch as my preferred beverage is beer, which IS permissible, and which I usually have with dinner unless I plan to drive somewhere afterward. As much as I like to eat meat, the no meat part has not particularly been difficult for me. I do well with fish or yogurt (and, when I travel to locales without much in the way of kosher restaurants, subsist quite well with such foods).

For a while I was going beyond vegetarian and into vegan (to oversimplify, the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan is that vegans don't eat fish or animal products such as milk, while some vegetarians do). For the first time in a number of years, I actually cooked some tempeh (though I ended up with a slight agita afterwards) and, all told, did without even the yogurt or eggs for a few days (N.B. I usually put tofu into my salad at least 6 days out of 7 anyway). The tempeh, tofu, nuts, fruits, and TVP and veggies did me fine. Polly over at Veggywood would be proud of me.

[Yes, I know that Polly leans quite far towards the Left. But at least she understands that veganism and vegetarianism are not for everyone, and does not attempt to impose her views on the matter upon the rest of us. And while she thinks that PETA is basically a good organization, she does admit that they wax extreme from time to time. It is reassuring that there are some rational animal rights activists out there. Having encountered plenty of spoiled rotten, irresponsible, narcissistic, far far leftist and irrational brats from Beverly Hills, Hollywood, The Hamptons, Westchester, the Main Line, Greenwich, Monte Carlo and other locales where the glitterati dwell and propagate, oblivious to the realities of the world, I have to respect Polly for her sincerity and for her grasp of reality. If her Weltanschauung differs from mine, then so be it. Maybe the next time she's back East we can do lunch or dinner at a kosher vegan dining establishment (and no, I'm not trying to score -- Twenty-something years ago I serendipitously scored with a woman, and the two of us are still playing that one out, big time, through thick and thin.).].

I, of course, did not schedule any professional activity for today. Not good to work on an empty stomach, especially when others, such as clients, depend upon your sound functioning. And, of course, my disposition is not at its best, so I have avoided major encounters with others (which is just as well, because one is not really supposed to greet others on Tisha B'Av). But who was I kidding when I thought that I might get some productive paperwork done today? It's almost 7:00 PM and I have accomplished precious little, except for a few much-need additional hours of sleep.

Oh, well! Maybe that's the way it should be. After all, I should be bothered by the destruction of the Holy Temple, and the Holy City of Jerusalem. I am adversely affected by the memory of the Holy City's destruction, then my heart aches over it. And those who mourn the destruction of the Holy City of Jerusalem will, one day, rejoice when it is rebuilt.

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