Today (Sunday, Jun 27, 2021) is a Jewish fast-day (a long day, as the summer day is long, and hot – as we are now under a heat advisory), called “The 17th of Tammuz” which commemorates the attack on & breach of Jerusalem’s (iconic) Walls that led (3 weeks later) to the destruction of the Temple.
This year, coming a few days after the tragic building collapse in Florida and as the hopeful search and rescue is ongoing, we can’t help but think of the 17th of Tammuz but through the lens of Surfside. Obviously, the current focus in Surfside is the tragedy itself and the hopeful rescue effort (no matter how improbable that may seem).
While we’re certainly not blaming or connecting this to a spiritual matter, we still are trained and ingrained to always seek a meaningful message, (even a figurative) lesson and takeaway. Given that the 17th of Tammuz commemorates the breach in the walls of ancient Jerusalem, when walls were seen as a durable and reliable sign of strength & protection, but they didn’t hold. They buckled under the onslaught, and all and everything within became vulnerable and unstable.
While we all pray and hope for the people of Surfside and their families, perhaps a takeaway lesson can be on this fast day of the the 17th of Tammuz to remind us of the need to (spiritually) shore up our personal, familial, and communal strengths and supports – in all areas of life – the metaphoric “walls” & all that which supports & protects us. They need periodic inspection, strengthening and restoration. It’s never one and done.
It seems obvious that going forward there will be more work and job opportunity/security for structural engineers to ensure physical buildings are safe, and the same ought to be true of that effort and vigilance within our selves, our friends, families, organizations and communities, to be more invested in our structural strength and supportive mechanisms.