Tisha B'Av is about the Present -- Posted by hazzanmenes
War and persecution impact every aspect of our lives. Violence done to music, and violence done which is reflected in music, attests to the pervasive effects of conflict. Our souls cry out and words alone are not enough to express the pain, the sorrow, the loss. Music becomes our tears.
We sometimes forget that the events surrounding the destruction of the Temple, particularly the Second Temple, were no less horrific and no less cataclysmic than the Holocaust. The numbers of Jews slaughtered, the loss of the homeland, and the complete destruction of the Temple - that place in which to draw closer to God - changed our people forever. Music in the synagogue service reflected this apocalypse. Musical instruments were eliminated from the service.
Music itself, however, could not be eliminated. How could we pour out our emotions without music? "There on the poplars we hung up our lyres, for our captors asked us there for songs, our tormentors, for amusement, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion." How can we sing a song of the Lord on alien soil?" Tisha B'Av is not so much about the loss of the Temple as the loss of a home, a center, a place where our songs can come from our hearts. The loss of safety.
Until our world has peace, we are still vulnerable. We are the Fiddlers on the Roof. Until we have peace, Tisha B'Av is not a day of commemorating the past, but of identifying the present. It is a day of mourning the loss of the freedom to pour out our song of the Lord, openly, without retribution.