Last year Tish B'Av was crazy. Our lift was packed during the day as we prepared for Aliyah a couple of days later. There was the huge propane plant explosion that shook our building even though it was 3 km away. In the evening we went to a quick Eicha reading and then had some of the best friends in the world help with packing. In the morning I went to a quick davening to be home for the movers. This year would be different.
Tish B'Av night we went to our shul for Eicha reading. Our Rabbi is away as his father is very ill. He gave a shiur via Skype. Eicha was nice considering we wish we didn't have to read it. Our original plan was to finally go to the Southern Wall Excavations during Tish B'Av afternoon. We decided there was something meaningful to be their Tish B'Av night. After Shul we got in the car and headed to Jerusalem.
Traffic around the old city was extremly busy. There were traffic cops everywhere watching traffic. It would have been nice if they did some directing as well. There is a great indoor parking lot at Mamilla. Due to getting stuck in the wrong lane, I approached the street needing to make a right turn instead of coming from the other side and making a left. The police had blocked off the right turn so I had to loop around from the other side. The intersection where the road was closed was a nightmare. A bunch of cars made illegal U turns. Eventually the third one caught the attention of police and got yelled at. It was fortunate for me as it blocked traffic allowing me to get out of the lane I was stuck in. We finally made it to the left hand turn lane into the parking lot. The police blocked me from making the turn a few times in order to allow busses through. After waiting patiently a car pulled around me to attempt to cut me off to make the turn. When I honked at him, it got the police attention and they finally allowed me to go through.
As we came down the stairs to Kotel, there was a group of 3 girls with the slogan "Donate to have the Beit HaMikdash built now!" The girls loved Channah as we stopped to explain that it was tzedakah if she wanted to give. They eventually gave her a sticker, which she took and wandered off. We gave for her and headed on our way. All 3 of them had a big wave for her when we passed them again when we were leaving.
The Kotel was very different from other times I have been there. Tearing Kriyah at the Kotel on Tish B'Av brings a whole new meaning to the day. Lots of people spend the night and had matresses and pillows laid out all over the place. As it is customary to sit on the floor many people use the Kotel as something to lean on. Even the security gaurds were sitting on low chairs. I took a walk from end to end along the wall and back and could not find a single spot. Eventually I just said a prayer standing back and then leaned over someone to touch the wall.
Tish B'Av morning was like the good old days at the Village Shul. A bunch of Kiynot were selected and there was a lenghty explanation before each one by different members of the shul. There were interesting insights plus they sang Kinot 31 (Beseti Mitzraim, Beseti Yerushalyim) to the tune I love. Shul ended just before noon. It was then time to go home for 6 straight hours of packing. I hate packing on Tish B'Av and I don't plan on doing it again next year.
Mincha, shiur Maariv brought an easy fast to an end. We didn't do kiddush levanah in order to do it Motzei Shabbat. The move made it a little hard to stay focused on the day. Channah was not as heart broken this time. She told me she didn't think Mashiach was coming so fast. When I asked her why, she told me "Some kids in my Ketanah just don't get it." Hopefully next year we will celebrate Tish B'Av with a BBQ at the Bet Hamikdash with no packing.