On the night that Jews around the world mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, here was a Tisha B’Av service unlike any other: Neshama Carlebach singing her father’s mournful, hopeful compositions and Basya Schechter singing her lovely iteration of “Eicha.” The service was dubbed “Shattered Shrines” and was led by Amichai Lau-Lavie, the creator of Storahtelling and now a creator of Lab/Shul.
In an overcrowded room at The Brownstone, a cultural center for young professionals, Israelis and Russian Jews in Manhattan’s East Village, Carlebach and Schechter were accompanied by Naomi Less and Noah Solomon of the band Soulfarm, among other well-known musicians.
Lau-Lavie read accounts of Jerusalem’s destruction and promise from the Zohar, and the 120 people in attendance sang along with Carlebach and Schechter. After Carlebach told her father’s story about the mistakes each of us makes in this world being mirrored in reverse in the upper world, Lau-Lavie urged people to consider the ways in which we are broken, like Jerusalem, and asked participants to turn to each other and discuss, for a few minutes, their response to the question “where are you?” in the story. He asked participants to consider how the destruction of Jerusalem relates to each of us and how we relate to it.