The Nine Days

The 9 days are upon us.

To some, the 9 days are a series of days that frighten us and keep us playing it safe.
To some, the 9 days are a time when we try to find learned individuals in an attempt to join in their completion of a section of talmud, for the sole purpose of being able to permissibly enjoy meat.

To some, the 9 days becomes a Passover-like event, challenging many a foodie to create spectacular dairy and vegan dishes.

To me, the 9 days is a reminder that yet again we have failed to successfully try to love one another. We have failed to be happy when others succeed. We have failed to keep a negative word to ourselves. We have failed to see the similarities between us and instead harp on the differences.

It is during these days I mourn.

I mourn the loss of my friend Pearl, a girl my age who died of a horrible illness.
I mourn the loss of potential life, for all those struggling to conceive but don’t have the support they need to get through.
I mourn my former special needs students’ disabilities that prevent them from living like normal kids and adults.
I mourn the pain my high school girls face, who struggle with peer pressures I never faced in my sheltered adolescence.
I mourn the agony and countless tears shed by girls and women who have been searching for their soulmate for years or even decades, dreaming to be loved and to create a family that they yearn to have.
I mourn the current state of the world, and cannot possibly fathom how my daughter will thrive in this world, let alone survive.

And to think,
if only we learned to love each other, rather than allow jealousy to pulse through our veins.
If only we learned to love ourselves, perhaps we wouldn’t feel this burning need to put others down, to look into their lives and pinpoint what it is that they have and we don’t.
If only we realized that maybe, if we stopped focusing on food discomfort, we could resolve to do better and be better.
If only we internalized this last year, maybe we wouldn’t have had to mourn this year.

What are you mourning for?