July 29, 2012 4 Comments
This tisha b’Av is very strange for me: my doctor ruled that it would be dangerous to fast for the full time, so based on that I had to break my fast at hatzot (mid-day, 1:14 EDT here). Interestingly, that wasn’t optional: I was no more allowed to continue fasting than I would be allowed to get a(nother) tattoo.
So this puts me out-of-step with the community once more. A surprising thing to me is that many of the people I’ve told have responded with “lucky you,” or the like; I was expecting more of “I’m sorry”! It isn’t like I’m getting told this because things are good, eh? No, my health is actually pretty poor right now- I have a moderately serious case of persistent vertigo ever since the cruise (meclizine is a big “meh”), more migraines, louder tinnitus, and increasing incidence of nerve pain radiating from my spine to my arms whenever I hold them out. Fortunately I’ll be seeing some doctors this week, so maybe something will come of that.
But more to the point, I have the sense of being outside looking in, prevented from sharing the communal experience. Communal fasting is a huge deal – it is said that one who does not mourn the destruction will not experience the redemption, and I have no desire to cut myself off from this.
And of course, there’s Eikha (Lamentations) – the third chapter introspectively examines the sins and physical afflictions of the author, and in so doing provides a template for seeing fault in physical suffering. So, no, I’d much rather be fasting today.