The S&P Downgrade and Tisha B’Av: A Spiritual Lesson From a Day of Calamity

Last week, the stock market took its biggest hit in three years. Then today, after news of the S&P downgrade, it got clobbered even further. This all happened on the cusp of the saddest, least auspicious day of the Jewish calendar year – Tisha B’Av. Some of the most cataclysmic events in Jewish history occurred on this day – murder, destruction, exile, expulsion – the worst moments our people have ever known.

We mourn on Tisha B’Av for everything we’ve lost, but the second half of the day turns to hope, because we know that despite the lows our people have seen, we’re ultimately headed for some place good. While watching a stock chart the other day, I got to thinking about how when you zero in on just one day of trading, the ups and downs can seem pretty intense. But if you pull back to a five day snapshot, a one month snapshot, and certainly a one year snapshot, suddenly those spikes that looked so sharp close up, look more like little blips from afar.

So too, when it comes to the history of our people, the intensity of the struggles must be viewed with similar perspective. That’s not meant to take away from the depth of the challenges we’re faced with, but rather to remind us that even when it seems as though we’re headed towards a bottomless pit of pain and suffering, our ultimate trajectory is upwards. Let’s just hope the same can be said about the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

If you found this content meaningful and want to help further our mission through our Keter, Makom, and Tikun branches, please consider becoming a Change Maker today.



Sort by

  • Avatar photo Elle (Tzipporah) says on August 9, 2011

    So well put.

    • Avatar photo robert cropley says on June 16, 2021

      Is it not also very interesting that September 11 2001 was 9 11? Even that it was 2 towers that fell symbolic of 2 temples. Also a skyscraper in Iran collapsed on Jan 19 or 119…

  • Avatar photo Edyta says on August 12, 2011

    Hi Alison, I am writing it from Poland. I have found your site about a week ago and can’t stop reading it!
    I work in big American corporation which calculates investment funds. Last week was crazy! I was thinking about those people who lost so much money and had no idea what to do next with their lifes. It so sad thah so many of us define ourselves by material things we possess…

  • Avatar photo Kaylah Deem says on February 5, 2012

    Thank you for your blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.


Contact formLeave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related posts

Yom HaZikaron: 24 Shiva Houses in 7 Months

I Went To Bear Witness At The Camps; Poland Was Disgustingly Beautiful

Previous post

What Do Orthodox Jewish Kids and Teens Do for Fun?

Next post

The Apple iDip (Happy New Year!)

We’ll Schlep To You

In Your
Inbox Weekly