Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, has just passed. It’s a solemn occasion, a time to remember the destruction of the two Temples as well as numerous other calamities that have befallen the Jews on this day since. For example (with thanks in part to KHouse for the list):
- 135 CE – The Bar Koshba revolt is squelched with the fall of Bethar, the last Jewish stronghold
- 136 CE – Emperor Hadrian establishes a temple of Zeus and the pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem
- 1095 AD – The declaration of the Crusades by Pope Urban II, which resulted in many Jews being attacked by Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land
- 1242 AD – The burning of the Talmud
- 1290 AD – The signing of the edict by King Edward I expelling the Jews from England
- 1492 AD – Ferdinand and Isabella issued a royal decree that all Jews must leave the Spanish territories by August 3rd (9th of Av on the Hebrew calendar)
- 1914 AD – The start of the First World War
- 1942 AD – The first killings at the Treblinka extermination camp in Poland
- 1994 AD – And the AMIA bombing by Arab terrorists in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 86 and wounded more than 120
It is also tradition that it was on the 9th of Av that ten of the twelve spies that Israel sent into Canaan came back with a bad report, causing Israel to lose faith and wander the wilderness for 40 years (cf. Num. 13). I also think it likely that Moses removed the Tent of Meeting from the camp on Tisha b’Av, as we explain in our article, The Feasts and the Exodus.
We praise ADONAI that Tisha B’Av has passed this year without trouble, and pray His continued protection over Israel, both the land and in Diaspora, throughout the year.