One summer I was visiting from Israel with a friend at Yale University. We attended the Orthodox minyan’s Tisha b’Av reading of Eicha, the Book of Lamentations, and of the Kinnot (dirges).
Accustomed to hearing Eicha in the out of doors, windswept dark of a Jerusalem evening on the balcony of the famous Windmill, the strong and ancient sepia walls of the Old City in full view, here in New Haven, as meaningful as the service was, let’s just say it didn’t quite feel the same as the Jerusalem inspiration of an Eicha by candlelight. I didn’t feel quite satisfied.
As I was walking downstairs at the Slifka Center, the center for Jewish life at Yale, something piqued my curiosity. Downstairs, in the dark, there were candles flickering and low voices of talking were heard.