Michael J. Radwin

Tales of a software engineer who keeps kosher and hates the web.

Hashivenu

Today is Tisha B’Av, a Jewish holy day. I choose to call it a “holy day” and not a “holiday” because it’s a rather somber one.

Last night at shul we read from the book of Eicha (known in English as Lamentations) by candelight. Both the words and the melody are melancholy and sad.

The penultimate verse of the book is repeated, to end on a positive note.

השיבנו יהוה אליך ונשוב חדש ימינו כקדם

Bring us back to you God, and we shall return, renew our days as of old

In other words, “if we could go back to the way things were before this calamity struck, life would all be so much better.” Right?

I’m not so sure. I think I’m stronger now than I was back then.

Maybe the times that we struggle aren’t just a rough spot on the road to tranquility. Would we be who we are today without that struggle?