Reading the Tisha B'Av news
Reading the daily news is a good thing to do. It goes well with a cup of coffee.
Reading the news most days is enough to remind us of the churban. You can read about corruption in government, the rabbi stabbed by the guy unsatisfied with the bracha he got, the men who won't give gitten and the schools forced to close due to lack of funds. And that's considered a good news day, a day with no really bad news.
Most days we read these articles, krechtz, and move on because we have to. We have to bring home a paycheck, pay our bills, walk the dog and celebrate our kids’ birthday.
Going into Tisha B'Av this year it occurred to me how grateful I am for the halachot that we don't greet each other. I found myself in a beit knesset with a number of people who I hadn't seen in a while and not having to socialize allowed me to focus on my thoughts and on the issues of the day. In the same way that everyone understands that Yom Kippur is a day where we focus on teshuva and our connection with God, the halachot that free us from socializing allow us to be those mourners who, if they so choose, can wrap themselves in their own thoughts and in the sorrow that they feel.
I am also grateful that I live in a society that my boss understood when I told him that I was taking Tuesday off. I know that no matter what he won't think of calling me to discuss some technical problem or client (even though he would if I were home sick for the day). I can take the day and read the newspaper and not have to move on because today there is nothing more important than those articles.