Growing up, I didn’t really know what Tisha B’av (It was pronounced Tish Above) was. I did get the sense that it was a specific day or time.
Actually, it seemed like the end of time.
We’d be stuck in traffic, when the highway seemed more like a parking lot than a road. Mom would say, “Looks like we’re going to be sitting here until Tish Above.”
Or she’d be talking about when we’d finally move to a nicer house.Â “Tish Above,” she’d reply.Â My parents still haven’t moved, after 15 years of looking.
Tish Above became synonymous with an imaginary deadline for tasks that we knew would never get done. Finally cleaning out the old closet. Labeling all of the family pictures. Getting cable television.
Then two years ago, my mother starting taking Melton Adult classes. My mother learned all about what Tisha B’av was and when it was coming. Yet, we still don’t mark the day like most Jews.
For many people, the day is a commemoration of the Temple. For others, it symbolizes a day of destruction. For some, it even marks the founding of the state of Israel and the liberation of Jerusalem.
But in my family, it’s a once a year time to check in on all of those goals in life that seem so far away.
Recently my mom sent a reminder email to the family:
“Tish B Av is coming next week.”
My aunt simply replied back:
“Ready as I’m going to be!!!!! Smile.”
Pronounced: ahv, Origin: Hebrew, Jewish month usually coinciding with July-August.