Tisha b’Av 5779
shaping the new – part 2
erev 11 Av 5779
I’ve been partaking of a liquid fast, beginning with two cups of green tea this morning. I am deliberately pursuing this path, knowing that if I can at least get through the 24 hour fast day on liquids, this would be an accomplishment. I have strengthened my resolve, upon realizing that I once successfully completed a liquid fast for two days on an Amtrak journey to the East Coast.
Moreover, since the application of Torah is tantamount, as the goal of studying Torah, I also was strengthened through a teaching from yesterday’s reading. The two greatest obstacles to entering Eretz Canaan were Sichon and Og, the two kings whose nations guarded the border into the Promised Land. Once they were defeated, the victories for B’nei Yisrael served as an encouragement that the seven Canaanite nations that the Children of Israel would battle upon entering the Land, would also be defeated through the help of H’Shem. Apropos of my fasting endeavor, I said to myself, that surely if I can get by on green tea and bottled water for two days on Amtrak, then I can do a liquid fast, H’Shem willing, for religious purposes, twenty-four hours, defeating my hunger pangs.
I should mention that I had brought plenty of kosher food along with me on that Amtrak journey; however, I decided on the two day liquid fast for health reasons. So, it was a similar challenge at that time, to my current fast, since both then and now – food is available. Transcending the hunger, despite the option to break the fast with a bit of nosh at anytime is the challenge; the constant relief available for the hunger pangs is green tea and water. As B’nei Yisrael defeated the two kings with H’Shem’s help, so, too, was I able to diminish the hunger pangs for two days on Amtrak; I draw encouragement from this experience on Tisha b’Av, as well as – thinking in advance – that I may also receive a similar boost of morale on Yom Kippur. H’Shem willing.