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Making Tisha B’Av Meaningful

Film Produced by Center for the Jewish Future and OU Screened at Synagogues Worldwide July 16

Once again this year, Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and the Orthodox Union combined efforts on programs for the Three Weeks and Nine Days leading to Tisha B’Av, followed by a variety of shiurim on Tisha B’Av itself.

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In this year of extremely early Jewish observances, the Three Weeks began on Tuesday, June 25 — the Fast of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, the Fast of the 17 of Tammuz, with its restrictions on levity. The Nine Days , with its deeper restrictions, began on Monday, July 8, Rosh Chodesh Av. Tisha B’Av itself, the Ninth of Av, extended from Monday evening July 15, until nightfall Tuesday, July 16.

“It is most rare for the Three Weeks to begin before the Fourth of July,” said Rabbi Judah Isaacs, OU director of community engagement, who worked with CJF in developing the programs. “The materials jointly prepared by the Orthodox Union and Yeshiva University will enable Jews to focus on the tragic events of Tisha B’Av, by deepening their understanding of the past and how they impact on the Jewish soul in our times.”

The centerpiece of the program was a video, “Making Tisha B’Av Meaningful to Us Today.” It featured Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, director of education, NCSY, the OU’s international youth movement; Professor Smadar Rosensweig, clinical assistant professor of Bible at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University; Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union; and Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Weinberg, rebbe and mashgiach, Stone Beit Midrash Program, at YU.

“It is particularly appropriate to work with the OU in sharing Torah with the international Jewish community,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU vice president and David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. “Such cooperation allows us to convene our intellectual resources in a most effective and productive fashion. I look forward to next year when we will jointly sponsor a festive Tisha B’Av experience in Yerushalayim.”

The free DVD was sent to all Orthodox Union member congregations and by CJF to synagogues across North America, Israel, the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere. Tisha B’Av programming also included live kinot webcasts featuring Rabbi Dr. Weinreb and Rabbi Weill of the OU, and YU’s Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter and Rabbi Dovid GottliebYUTorah also offered the latest issue of Tisha B’Av To-Go for download.