We’re past the sadness of Tisha b’Av and only a week later it’s Tu B’Av, the Jewish answer to Valentine’s Day. For those not out dancing in the vineyards, what could be better than pouring a glass of wine and settling down with a good book? To get you started, here are some recommendations from around the Jewish blogosphere.
Many in Israel wonder whether we should still mourn on Tisha b’Av, with Jerusalem rebuilt, surrounded by a thriving Jewish state. I would argue that especially now, in the midst of national rebirth, the lessons of Tisha b’Av take on a new urgency. For the past 2,000 years we were not in a position to repeat the mistakes of the past. Now we are.
This week’s Torah reading, parashat Mattot-Masai, rounds off Sefer BaMidbar (Numbers). Among the narratives of battles, conquests, and politics, we can also discern a subtle shift in divine-human relations: only in the last few parshiot do human beings begin bringing questions and requests to change the law. What brought about this change?