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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pained by Numbers

On this day long ago our temple was destroyed. I'm supposed to get worked up about this or something. Okay, I see the significance. I see that we had a loss and should remember that. But I don't know what mourning is.

(Excuse me if this post is not a great work of art; I am fasting.)

How do I mourn? I learned a lot from Rav Ariel, the Rosh Yeshiva of Dvir and the head of Machon HaMikdash, but nothing that would make me want to break down and cry about losing the temple. My parents insist that the only thing that a person may do in the proper spirit of the 9th of Av is go to a lecture. Bl'bah! Well, actually, that's not entirely true- my mother did talk me into going to the walk around the walls of old Jerusalem last night:
"Did you want to come with us to the walk around the walls?"
"No. Why would I want to do that?"
"It'll give the day meaning."
"Okay, I'll come."

It didn't give the day meaning- it was just a crowd, and I don't like crowds. I said that if we were going in a crowd like that up to the Temple Mount itself- that would be inspirational. But this was so safe the police had even blocked off the area ahead of time and were watching to make sure nothing happened. It's not a spiritual experience if you don't have to fight for it. So that was a whole lotta blah, with me thinking about abstract world designs to occupy myself with.

Anyway, the rabbis who decided on the halacha knew that most people, like me, didn't have a clue how to mourn. So they implemented laws to force you to mourn anyway. Laws like fasting, and not wearing leather shoes (but why just leather?- Eah, that's a question for another time.) and that sort of stuff. My father read us some of the laws a few days ago. You can't play or listen music, which tells me to stay away from the piano. You can't dance, which tells me to stay away from platformers. You can't wander around for enjoyment, which tells me to stay away from most of my favorite games. The halacha also says you can't sit on a chair, so I was sitting on the floor and reaching up to my keyboard, but then I saw my father sitting on the couch so I decided it wasn't such a big deal if I ignored that law.

So what am I going to do now? Well, I don't think there was any law there that would prevent me from watching episodes of Samurai Jack. So that's what I'll do. And then maybe I'll play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, because it has no exploration and meaningless controls so it's technically okay. This shouldn't be such a bad day at all.



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