We’re supposed to be sad. It’s the one day when all our sadness is gathered together and all we are supposed to do is sit, reflect, and mourn.
It’s the day we cry over the destruction of our temple but it’s more than that. Losing the temple has caused every loss we’ve had since, both collectively and individually.
It’s the day we cry over the tragedy of mothers who suffocated their babies so that their cries wouldn’t reveal their hiding places to the Nazis. Over the small children’s hands yanked from their parents as they were pulled to the left, their parents to the right. Of the emaciated bodies, crying, begging for food.
We cry over every sad thing we have ever known, all the people we knew who were taken too early, all the tragedy and sadness we have ever experienced.
But this year I don’t have the energy to feel sad. I know I’m supposed to. I fear if I don’t feel sad today on the day I should I will be forced to feel sadness some other day. But tomorrow I know I’ll be too busy to be sad. Too busy feeding, caring for, and running after my two precious boys. And tonight? I really want to take this quiet, these tired eyelids, and succumb to the inviting blackness of sleep.
I don’t think it’s just physical tiredness. I’m emotionally drained. And I have no right to be. The sadness I have known is the sadness we all have known for people most of us have never known. Babies in Israel. A child in Brooklyn. It’s the sadness we have all shared. It isn’t just mine.
But this year I can’t hear about the women who resorted to consuming their own children. I can’t. I know it’s a day to be sad. I know Eichah, with its soul wrenching tune, is something we’re supposed to allow ourselves to feel, in a world where we are so often numb.
But I can’t let the sadness in.
I am sorry for my numbness.
I am sad for my lack of sadness.
I suppose maybe that’s a start.