I’ll admit it. For a long time I really couldn’t connect with Tisha B’av.
But then I became a parent.
From Eicha (Lamentations)
The horror of watching your child starve:
My eyes are spent with tears,
My heart is in tumult.
My being melts away
Over the ruin of my poor people,
As babes and sucklings languish in the squares of the city.
They keep asking their mothers,
“Where is bread and wine?”
As they languish like battle-wounded
In the squares of the town,
As their life runs out
In their mother’s bosoms.
A mother with nothing to give:
Even jackals offer the breast
And suckle their young;
But my poor people has turned cruel,
Like Ostriches of the desert.
The tongue of the suckling cleaves
To its palate for thirst.
Little children beg for bread;
None give them a morsel.
And the unthinkable:
With their own hands, tenderhearted woman
Have cooked their children;
Such became their fare,
In the disaster of my poor people.
Translations from the JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh