This Saturday, July 17th, is also the eighth day of the Hebrew month of Av. As Shabbat ends, a day of mourning—one of the most holy days of the year—begins.
Tisha b'Av (the ninth of Av) is the commemoration of the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem, and the commonly accepted date of the expulsion edict of 1492—three occasions on which the Jewish people were violently uprooted and expelled from their homes. As they traveled throughout the diaspora, they carried with them their traditions, their faith and their hopes for a better future.
Those traditions and hopes would find refuge for a time in one area or another, eventually making their way to the New World. Among them, the Tisha b'Av traditions of fasting, reading from the Book of Lamentations and reciting chants and elegies by various medieval Hebrew poets.
I will weep! and for the desolation of my dwelling with floods of streaming tears my eyes shall overflow; woe is me!
The kinot (elegies) in the Milken Archive collection arrived in New York with Sephardi immigrants from Amsterdam, who established one of the first Jewish musical traditions in North America in the 17th century. Their texts convey the pain, hope, survivors' guilt, and uncertainty of thousands of years. They also encourage introspection about the role each of us plays in the construction and destruction of the world in which we wish to live.
Congratulations to Moment Magazine on their 15 Simon Rockower Awards from the American Jewish Press Association.
Among those awards were the First Place for Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements, and another for Excellence in a Multimedia Story for "A SOUNDTRACK OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE: A musical journey through time and space charting the breadth of the Jewish soul," which was produced in collaboration with the Milken Archive.
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