This Tisha B’Av and for some reason even a while before that, I was remembering the year I was pregnant with baby #2 and we were living here in this idyllic town. I remember wearing this red gingham blouse, not a maternity one, that fit under the proverbial denim jumper (yes maternity) less and less as the pregnancy advanced. I liked that blouse. I don’t know what became of it, maybe it got too worn and I couldn’t make a button of it, so I’m writing this about it.
Yes, we always make something out of nothing.
But back to the story at hand. I remember wearing that outfit on Tisha B’Av and taking a shpatzir around the block in the afternoon. It was not an uncomfortable day and I never had problems fasting (that I remember), thank G-d, except at the end of Yom Kippur with the inevitable not proverbial banging on the bimah for Ne’ilah and my head still jumps off my neck thinking of it. Metaphorically. It was such a pleasant memory of my simple life. Tisha B’Av, not Yom Kippur…
I didn’t realize then how that walk is so much like the walk that the mourner is supposed to take around his/her house after the shiva week is over. This is but one similarity between Avelut Yeshanah and Avelut Hadashah and the power of Nechamah.
I also remember the first Tisha B’Av I was pregnant and we were living in NY and I was not yet showing but I wore a jumper for the first time, but didn’t tell anyone why nor did anyone ask…
I remember another time when I was wearing my pregnancy uniform and I had to go to the local bank to put something in (or out; it’s been a while) of the safety deposit box, so it was talking a little longer than a usual visit. Daughter #1 was with me, too. I was finishing up when another woman from the shul came in. Guess what she was wearing, and guess who she had with her? Well, her two and a half year old daughter had dark ringlets, and mine had blonde, so there was a difference. I watched the teller’s eyes go from me to her and back and forth again. What was she thinking exactly? Anything from where they being invaded to what are they thinking?
I think about this scene now and then when I come across such pockets of people of different groups. How do we maintain our identity? Why is it important to do so?
It is, you know.
But how do we stop passing judgment on them? I know I do.