Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More on Week 44 (which ended yesterday), a Hint of What's to Come

6. "Place me like a seal on your heart, liked a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death, zeal is as strong as the grave; its coals are coals of fire of a great flame!

Week 44 in the Jewish calendar is the week of Tisha B’Av, which marks the destruction of both the First and Second Temples, as well as the enormous destruction that took place at those times. The death and destruction is remembered every year, with fasting and other signs of intense mourning. It is also a day in which we remember all the tragedies that occurred in Jewish history, including the Holocaust.

The verse of Shir HaShirim is hauntingly related to such destruction. It speaks of death and the grave, and even of a “seal on your arm,” (like the numbers etched on the arms of the Holocaust victims), and a great fire (like the one that burned the Temples). Yet love is stronger than death! In the end, we survived, and the great flame of our people burns strongly still today.

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