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17 of Tammuz and Healing the Planet

earth
Today is the 17th of Tammuz – historically a Fast Day, and day of introspection and mourning.
From OU.org

“The 17th day in the Jewish month of Tammuz, Jews the world over fast and lament to commemorate the many calamities that have befallen our people on this ominous day.
The purpose of such fasts in the Jewish calendar is, according to Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov’s Book of Our Heritage, “to awaken hearts towards repentance through recalling our ancestors’ misdeeds; misdeeds which led to calamities…” “

Recently – The Kovno ghetto was liquidated on this day in 5704 (1944) and in 5730 (1970) Libya ordered the confiscation of Jewish property.

We have a really hard time imagining that our actions can have such massive consequences in spiritual realms. However, we easily believe that our actions count when it comes to social justice or ecological terms. We recycle, we are turning to green products, we write letters about injustices in the world that we are not committing, but feel obliged to help stop. We are on the forefront of efforts to save, preserve, defend and believe that our actions however small – have an affect.

When it comes to the spiritual realm, we balk. We figure that what they said 2000 years ago about people not caring for one another, or people worshiping idols as causing the destruction of Israel – well they were just trying to pull a lesson from inexplicable tragedy. Really, we have no idea why these terrible things happen, have happened, still happen.

And it is partially true – we do not know the “why” of modern tragedies. However, we do know the “why” of ancient tragedies because our prophets told us so. Today we are poor, without prophets, without vision. However, we can look back to those ancient days, reflect upon the nature of what happened to the Jewish people, the pain they suffered, and seek in our day to fix that which was broken.

The 17 of Tammuz is not a call for everyone to keep the Sabbath – though that would be great to have a day where the world rested. Today we are offered a chance to work on the issues that created the tragedies of old, and renew our effort to change ourselves and the world. Baseless hatred caused the end of the Second Temple – animosity between Jews that was so great it destroyed us.

Showing love for our fellow Jews, and for humanity today – and every day – bring the spiritual balance back to the world that we lost so many generations ago. Kindness, compassion, caring, honoring – if we can infuse our world with more of this spiritual goodness, we will reap the benefits. The spiritual acts that we perform have global impact. An act of compassion for another person will bring peace faster than all the bottles we recycle. Transcending our own selfish needs and recognizing the humanity of the other – the 17th of Tammuz is a call to action in a spiritual campaign to heal the planet.

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Get ready for Love Fest

love festBefore speed dating, J-Date, Valentines Day or Sadie Hawkins Day, there was the original ancient Love Holiday -Tu B’Av. Jewish maidelach and suitors went out into the fields to see and be seen, really, the first Jewish singles event. It’s a celebration of love for everyone.

Tu B’Av, the 15th Day of Av, is a day of joy, a day for matchmaking dating back to the second Temple period (before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.).

Jewlicious and JconnectLA are producing the biggest celebration of Tu B’Av to hit the City of Angels, Love Fest, on Aug. 14, 8:30pm-1am, at Fu’s Palace Restaurant. Tickets are just $15 in advance, $20 at the door and include your first drink ticket. Students with ID can get in for $15.

Co-sponsored by Taglit Birthright Israel-NEXT, Jewcy, the Jewish Agency, ModernTribe.com, and Cool Jew Book, expect a festive romantic evening of music, humor, matchmaking, cool swag, $7 drinks, and yummy eats.

Entertainment for the evening includes the hilarious and talented Smooth-E, Jewish rockers 8th Day, the mystic rhythms of DJ Eric Rosen, and the unmatched energy and spirit of MOSHAV.

Lisa Alcalay Klug will be offering a sneak preview of her much anticipated book Cool Jew, which is not for sale until Sept. 1 – but we’ll have it on sale at Love Fest.

Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein will be unveiling Instant Matchmaking™. Love Fest’ers need to be there early to have your chance at an Instant Match – all done in the spirit of Tu B’Av. Who knows what waits in store for you at Love Fest?

If you already have a special someone, celebrate your love during this ancient festival, with hundreds of others at Love Fest. Don’t let Love Fest pass you by, it only happens once a year.

For tickets go to Jconnectla.com today!