Submitted by Congregation Etz Chaim

On Wednesday Night, July 26th, Congregation Etz Chaim, along with congregations across the world, will be commemorating Tisha B’Av. The date that corresponds with the 9th day of the month of Av is the fast day that marks the destruction of the Holy Temple. That date has also been associated with other tragedies, including the First Crusades, various expulsions of Jews, approval for the Nazi’s “Final Solution” and the AMIA bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aire. Commemoration of these calamities includes recitation of Megillat Eicha, Lamentations. These five chapters describe the city of Jerusalem and the suffering and hopelessness felt by the inhabitants at the hands of the Babylonians. There is a haunting trope (melody) that transforms the heartbreaking words from simple liturgy to messages that pierce across time into the heart of the listener.

Chapter one, verse two includes common linguistic patterns comparing the city of Jerusalem to a broken-hearted woman. “She weeps, yea, she weeps in the night, and her tears are on her cheek; she has no one to comfort her.” Congregation Etz Chaim has decided to take Jeremiah’s words to the next level and are proud to have an all-female team of Eicha readers. The team is composed of Chava Vidal, Lynne Haber, Emmy Friedenberg, Barbara Taggart-Milberg and Robyn Wolfe. They are women from different backgrounds, different ages, different careers, and social situations, but they lend their voices to this sorrowful reading. The megillah reading will follow the creation of an interactive teamwork inspired mosaic activity designed to help people work together and promote unity. Join Congregation Etz Chaim for this impactful evening. Connect with yourself, with others and with something even greater; program starts at 7:30pm, Wednesday July 26th.