Tisha B’Av Letter
A letter from Someone homeless…
Dear whoever it may concern,
This letter is not supposed to encourage pity or feeling sorry for me. To be perfectly honest I would rather you do something to help – if your pity spurs you on to do that then that’s something. The thing is that I am homeless; it has been like this for years now. But, you know, I haven’t always been homeless. Things used to be very different – so different that you would probably find it hard to imagine what it used to be like. In fact, I can hardly believe it; I hope you can trust me on it though. Anyway, I remember years ago – it seems like so so long ago now, I ‘spose it was. I had two different homes. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have them both at the same time; one house is enough for me. The two were at different times. I suppose I’d better tell you a bit about them – hopefully it will help you realise what I miss and maybe even spur someone on to help me build my new home one day.
Anyway, like I was saying, I had 2 homes at different points. I have to say that I liked the first one the most – it was much simpler than the second one and felt more homely. I don’t really have the time to explain all the ins and outs of how my house looked – needless to say it was fit for a King. In fact, you probably won’t believe it but I actually used to be quite famous too – loadsa people used to know who I was. I know what you are thinking – I’m sure you are probably saying to yourself ‘so how come not everyone knows who you are now?’ Well I suppose if they just took the time to investigate things a bit they would know. But some people tend to be a little lazy I’ve found – you know what they are like – they throw things out before even checking if they are valuable enough for them to keep. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, my first home. Right; my fame (just take it from me, ok). Like I said, people used to know who I was – I had quite a following really. I hope it will be like that sometime again in the future you know – that’s my dream. You never know, I say, and I have seen stranger things happen in my time. Anyway, back to the point. I suppose you could say that I was basically their King – people used to come visit my home from far and wide. I remember that even at harvest time people used to come visit – they’d drop what they were doing to come to my home. I noticed three ‘rush-hour periods’ of the year. And you should have seen it! There were queues at those times for miles. I’m not kidding – literally miles. And you should have seen the presents they brought me as well! It was mostly food; meat etc. – but I don’t have time to reminisce really – that’s not the point of this letter. Obviously I’d pay them back for their presents; but I’d do it in secret so they didn’t feel so bad; at least they’d feel like they gave me something. You know what? I think they got more from giving me the presents than I did. Now I bet you are asking yourself ‘so what happened after that; why are you homeless now?’ So I ’spose I should get on with it and finish my story…
The problem is that it started going a bit downhill if you forgive the expression (both my houses used to be on top of a hill. I wish I had photos. I think people wrote about them though – you should try and get hold of that). You see, people first started slowly ignoring me. It could be to do with the fact that I often gave things to people secretly – but I thought they would realise it was me; it didn’t take lots to work that out. And even those who still came to my house and brought me presents – I got the impression that it was just routine really. Nobody really wanted to give. And then they started giving their presents to others – I wasn’t their ’King’ anymore. But I don’t really like talking about that – let’s just say that my house was bulldozed over and people left me. I’m sorry I can’t write more than that – it’s a bit too emotional for me. How I loved those times.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, people eventually came back and remembered me again – it really didn’t take so long I ’spose. And they got someone to build me another house – they were even kind enough to build it on the same spot the first one was. But then again, like I said, though the second one was a bit more fancy, I liked the first one better – it was a bit smaller but felt a bit more homely. Anyway, years passed and things looked like they were going well. People started coming to visit again and bringing me presents again. But I detected that something was not quite right. They seemed to care about me, but nobody seemed to care about anyone else. In a way it angered me more than their discarding of me when my first house was still there. At least then there was a people – now there is just a collection of individuals fending for themselves. Anyway, needless to say, not so long after that my second house was taken away. I shouldn’t admit it, but I didn’t care as much that the house was gone – I even allowed them to do it, to be honest. Like I said, the house sorta lost it’s ‘specialness’ anyway with everyone bickering. You know what it’s like to have a house where all the visitors argue all the time.
So, after all that I went into hiding a bit – maybe people will notice now that I’m not openly there any more. I’ve been in hiding for quite a while now. I actually would like a home though. I have to admit that some people bring me into their homes but it’s not the same as having your own home where everyone can come to you. You know what I mean. And besides, it’s only some people – not everyone bothers to bring me in. Some speak to me from time to time. Some just do it because someone told them to; others really make the effort to speak to me. You know what it’s like when someone says words to you but they don’t really want to converse. I suppose at least they are saying something though – others don’t even do that. You know I wrote a book once; it had 5 volumes you know! – that actually pleases me a lot; when I see that people are spending time reading my book. I can tell when people really care about me, but I ’spose I should not go on about it too much. I just wish people would take the time to try and get to know me; at least to try and find out a bit about me…
You know, I really want a new home. I’m even willing to build it and fund it myself. That shouldn’t be too hard. But I feel the time needs to be right. I wish people would see it from my perspective. I only want a home – it’s not too much to ask for. And it’s for your good you know; I only want what’s best for you. Why can’t people forget about their differences and let me build my home?
Your Father and Creator.