Rabbi Seth Goldstein has served as the rabbi of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, WA since 2003,
after graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He is a member of the board of
the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, served as a co-chair of an RRA task force examining issues of
Jewish status and identity, is a participant in the Clergy Leadership Program of the Institute for Jewish
Spirituality and a fellow of CLAL's Rabbis Without Borders.
Tisha B’Av (“the ninth of Av”) is a day of fasting and mourning for the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem, and is observed this year beginning the evening of July 25. Like Yom Kippur, it is a full day fast (The fast is being observed on the 10th of Av this year because the 9th falls on Shabbat, and thus the fast is postponed.)
The Temple holds an important place in the collective spiritual consciousness of the Jewish people. It is seen as the place where the community was in deep and close connection to God. The destruction of the Temple led to the separation from the land, the dispersion of the community and a need to rebuild the ritual infrastructure of Judaism, so its loss is remembered as a great tragedy. In addition to setting aside this one day to mourn, prayers for the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem punctuate our liturgy.