Sunday, August 13, 2000
There are two big deal fasts in Judaism. Yom Kippur in September is of course the most widely known and then in August is Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av, Av being a month in the Jewish calendar).
Yom Kippur is when we stand already judged by God, ready to receive whatever punishment and/or reward He has deemed fit for us. It is a sundown to sundown fast, basically 25 hours of no food or water, standing for the most part in prayer for the better part of the day.
Tisha B'Av is when the Jews commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples. It is also a 25 hour fast, but for most of us, it just another day of work. Like me. Last year, I got lucky and I managed to get off from work. So the night the fast started, I stayed up until 5 a.m., went to bed and woke up at around 1 p.m. Most of the day had gone, the fast was over at around 8 p.m. and I stayed in bed.
This year I wasn't so lucky. I had arranged to work only half the day though. I'd take the 12:30 bus that first goes to where my ex lives and where the kids were that day (we'll call this place S) and then the bus goes to where I live (ML).
Only...no 12:30 bus. The guy who told me about it didn't realize that in the summer there WAS no 12:30 bus. I called my ex and arranged to have a neighbor of mine pick up my kids. I would take the 3:30 bus I had been told about.
So I went back to work, it was only a 5 minute walk from the bus stop (ok, it's ALL uphill). At 3 I left and meandered down to the bus stop. Mind you, I hadn't had so much as a sip of water since 7 p.m. the night before. The bus pulls in at 3:15 and the driver tells me that he doesn't go to ML, it goes to E and I'd have to call ML and arrange a shuttle. It being a fast day, I wasn't going to count on the shuttle working and I figured by the time I got to E, called the shuttle and have it pick me up, I could be home if I took the 4:30 bus (which I KNEW ran because I took it regularly).
So I thanked the driver and sat at the bus stop for an hour.
Three other people and myself get on the 4:30 bus that will take us all home.
Or so we think.
Halfway to the halfway point (25 minutes into the ride) the Bus. Breaks. Down.
The bus company didn't want to send a new bus for just four people. Said that there was a bus leaving Jerusalem at 5:45 that would take us where we needed to go. So we flagged down a passing van and hitched to the halfwaypoint (O). An hour and a half later (and still fasting) the 5:45 bus out of Jerusalem showed up at O. The only shinning point of the whole thing was the driver didn't make me pay another fare. I showed him the receipt from the broken down bus and was ready to cry if need be. But he waved me on.
I unlocked my front door at 6:45. I had been trying to get home since 12:30. And I broke my fast with friends at 8 p.m.