On the Hebrew calendar, the 9th day of Av (Tisha b’Av in Hebrew) is a notorious date of tragedy for the Jewish people. Many major tragedies are recorded in the Bible and continue up to modern history.
The Bible tells us that Aaron died on the first day of Av. Although he was a faithful servant for 40 years, he was part of that first generation that did not get to go into the Promised Land because of unbelief. Later, both temples were destroyed on the 9th of Av, as well as many, many other calamities down through the centuries.
On a recent vacation, I decided to try rock climbing on the simulated rock wall. I had never done it, but watched several people in front of me, some succeeding to the top and some quitting part way up. With each one I could, I asked how they did it or what stopped them from finishing, trying to learn whatever might help me make it high enough to ring the little bell at the top, announcing my success.
When it was my turn, the attendant, Alex, roped me up and gave me climbing shoes to help me hold on. I took my first few steps on the holds and knobs. “This is pretty easy,” I thought. But like anything else physical, it got harder as I went along. (more…)