The Inspiration of Desperation


There’s a way to be inspired by everything–even mourning.

The three weeks leading up to Tisha B’Av, a period known in Judaism (cleverly) as the “Three Weeks,” is a traditionally somber period.  According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), these weeks were the lead up to the destruction of the first and second ancient Temples in Jerusalem. It is a time to grieve, but also to reflect.

Dr. Erica Brown, a leading Jewish educator, has just released the book In the Narrow Places, a countdown of the Three Weeks. For each day, she offers a different thought, meditation, or story. On Day Two, Brown places herself in the mind of Job, his faith tested by having everything in his life taken away. As the days progress, she wrestles with other complicated stories, such as the Garden of Eden being taken away from Adam and Eve. She suggests that their punishment of “working the land” contains an inherent hope, that they will build more gardens throughout the world.

The Three Weeks isn’t the happiest time in the Jewish calendar. But Dr. Brown’s book makes it easier to embrace the mourning period, and to find  in it some inspiration.

Dr. Brown is a guest blogger on Visit the blog to read more of her thoughts on the Three Weeks.

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