How Tisha B’Av Teaches Us Free Love
It’s not just about fasting and mourning.
Many people are curious about why I’m fasting for 25 hours on a hot summer day, such as this one. So, as my stomach yearns for food and drink, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and the rare clear-headedness to write a piece about Tisha B’av, the saddest day for Jews and what we can all learn from it.
Tisha B’Av Marks Many Disasters For Jews
Many disasters befell Jews on Tisha B’Av.
It is the day that God decided we would not enter the promised land for 40 more years after the spies decided to speak ill of the land.
It is the same day that the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem were captured and destroyed.
It is the day that Spain decided to banish all Jews from their land.
It is the day when King Edward I decided to expel all Jews from the Kingdom of England.
Those are only the notable ones. Many other disasters are mentioned if you google hard enough.
How Tisha B’Av Is Observed
Well, the notable thing is fasting for 25 hours. From Av 8th’s Sunset until Av 9th’s nightfall. But, there are some more traditions:
- No leather clothes and shoes are allowed.
- No sexual intercourse.
- No Applying of ointments and creams.
- No festivities.
- No greetings.
- No bathing or washing
Basically, Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning. We mourn our disasters.
What Can Everyone Learn From Tisha B’Av
Many of our disasters happened because we didn’t exercise free love. Yes, it sounds wholly unrelated but let me explain.
The Jewish spies talked ill of the land because they wanted one thing and the land offered another. They didn’t accept it as it was. That’s why God punished them.
The first and second temples were destroyed because the people of Israel did not exercise free love. They didn’t accept the teachings of God, and instead of using free love, they exercised open hatred. They were punished for that and lost the battles for the holy temples.
There are many more examples of how God punished us because we learned to hate instead of love freely.
How much do you love the people in your life freely?
5 Actions To Exercise Free Love
I’m going to suggest some activities which some people will not be comfortable with at first. That’s OK. Do what you can and at your own pace. There’s no rush!
1. Give Heartfelt Hugs
Some men have problems with this one, I know. But even though it’s kind of scary, I want you to experience the joy of a 20-second hug. It’s awkward and beautiful all at the same time!
Hug because you love that person. Hug more than a touch-and-go gesture. Hug because you care!
2. Listen To What People Say
We’re living in a world where we think of a reply before we even finish listening. We should all get rid of that horrible practice.
Listen to your friends, listen to your parents, listen to your children. Listen because you respect them. Listen because maybe for once you might enjoy what they say instead of thinking how to reply and keep the conversation going.
Listen as though they are the most important person in the world right now.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Touch
They say that body language is 80% of what people understand when having a conversation in person. Touching more doesn’t mean invading a person’s private space. Be reasonable. A pat on the back or the shoulder is showing more support than you might think it does.
Respectful touch deepens the relationships between people. Free love is all about deep relationships.
So, don’t limit your touch to only short hugs, as discussed above. Touch other people respectfully and deepen your relationships with them.
4. Do One Act Of Free Love Every Day
These are things that you do without expecting anything in return. The smiles on people’s faces are all the payment I need when I do something for them.
If you have a professional skill, maybe try to do work for someone for free from time to time as your business allows. if you’re just around a person who needs help, like a grandma crossing the street, help them out.
If you’re knowledgable about something, offer some of your knowledge for people who are in need without expecting anything in return.
Buy your partner something beautiful just because you love them. Spend some time with your parents — Check-In with other family members.
Show people you care about them, and they will feel loved. In return, you will feel fantastic.
5. Self Love Is Equally Important
Do not make the mistake that free love is all about abandoning caring for yourself and making everybody else the center of attention. That’s not what this is. As an act of free love for yourself — do something beautiful you care about.
Go out with some friends you haven’t seen for a while. Have a gaming night all by yourself if that makes you happy (I love video games). Take yourself out to a movie or a concert.
Invest in free love for everybody you care about. And the body you care about the most is the one you can’t live without — yourself!
Free Love Is Real
Some people will argue that Free Love is not real. They think that because we all get something out of love, we can’t truly experience free love.
I don’t agree with them.
Yes, we all feel something when we make an act of free love. But free love isn’t about the spirituality of love. It is about the material abundance or lack thereof.
When we give out free counseling to someone who needs it, we lose a potential customer, and that translates directly to a financial loss. But we feel fantastic for doing that. We can’t do that all the time, but when we do, it makes a world of difference! That is what free love is all about — doing good deeds when we know we don’t get any material reward whatsoever.
Hopefully, by reading this story, you have found inspiration to show some free love to someone in your life.
I am sending you a big 20-second hug. I hope you accept it.