The ninth day of Av (Tisha B’Av) is perhaps the saddest day in the Jewish calendar.
It is the day we commemorate and mourn the tragic events that occurred on that day.
Tisha B’Av in History
On Tisha B’Av, many national calamities occurred:
- During the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the 12 Spies, and the decree was issued forbidding them from entering the Land of Israel. (1312 BCE)
- The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar. 100,000 Jews were slaughtered and millions more exiled. (586 BCE)
- The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, led by Titus. Some two million Jews died, and another one million were exiled. (70 CE)
- The Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Roman Emperor Hadrian. The city of Betar — the Jews’ last stand against the Romans — was captured and liquidated. Over 100,000 Jews were slaughtered. (135 CE).
- The Temple area and its surroundings were ploughed under by the Roman general Turnus Rufus. Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city — renamed Aelia Capitolina — and access was forbidden to Jews.
- The Spanish Inquisition culminated with the expulsion of Jews from Spain on Tisha B’Av in 1492.
- World War One broke out on the eve of Tisha B’Av in 1914 when Germany declared war on Russia. German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust.
- On the eve of Tisha B’Av 1942, the mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka.
The Tisha B’av fast begins Saturday, July 28th at sunset. It ends approximately 24 and a half hours later, Sunday night. Check for local times in your area.
May you have an easy fast and may HaShem protect and save the Jewish people from the hands of those who wish to destroy us.