Today is my secular birthday. I say secular because as a religious Jew, I observe two birthdays. One is in the Jewish month of Av, and the other is, well, in the non-Jewish month of July. I like them both.
Usually, I emphasize my Hebrew birth date, because it has spiritual significance and on that day I give blessings to all my friends. My parents, z"l, never recognized my Jewish birthday and so whenever I think of today, I remember warmly all the wonderful birthdays of the past.
Plus, it's the day posted on my facebook account and I got lots of shout outs, which is wonderful.
What a day. One canceled doctor's appointment (I showed up, the doctor didn't), a Live Scan appointment (a Dept. of Justice review of your background, required of all health care workers), meeting with potential employers, a trip to the 99-cent store. And I'm plenty hungry.
I'm hungry because today is a fast day, the 17 of Tammuz, when the Babylonians and the Romans, hundreds of years apart, began their destruction of the Jerusalem, the respective Jewish commonwealths, and the beginning of two exiles. The latter, the Roman, or 4th and last exile, is where we are today.
But not for long. The final redemption is long overdue.