Steven Edel (26 July 2011)
"The 9th of Av ..."


History of the 9TH of AV

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 is Tisha B’Av (9th of Av) on the Jewish calendar, a day of mourning over great tragedies that befell the Jewish people on the 9th of Av throughout history. 

On this day, the Jews fast to commemorate five (major) disasters that occurred in the history of the Jewish people, and with this fast end the Three Weeks of mourning between the 17th of Tammuz (Tuesday July 19th, 2011  and the 9th of Av (Tuesday August 9th, 2011).

It all began on the 9th of Av when:

·        The Children of Israel worship the golden calf while Moses is on the Mount. (Exodus 32)

Amazingly, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed on same day on the Jewish calendar - 656 years apart.

1.     In 586 B.C., Solomon's Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians.

2.     The Second Temple was razed by the Romans in A.D. 70. The destruction of the Second Temple fulfilled prophecies in Luke 19:43-44; 21:5,6 and Daniel 9:26.

Also on the 9th of Av:

3.     The spies brought back a negative report from the Promised Land, prompting the Israelites to respond in fear rather than in faith.  Because they would not trust God to take them safely into the land, they wandered in the desert for 40 years.

4.     In A.D.130  Emperor Hadrian ordered Jerusalem to be plowed in preparation for building new pagan city, "Aelia Capitolina," on the location, fulfilling Micah 3:12 and Jeremiah 26:18. Hadrian changed the name of Judea to "Palaestina."

5.     In A.D. 135 the Romans crushed the revolt under Shimon Bar-Kokhba at the city of Betar, the Jews' last stand against the Romans. Over 100,000 Jews were slaughtered.

Aside from these five disasters, many tragedies continued to happen to the Jewish people on the 9th of Av throughout the centuries.

On Tisha B'Av in:

·        1095 Pope Urban declares 1st Crusade, thousands of Jews died

·        1290, King Edward I signed an edict to have all the Jews expelled from England.

·        1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain. (Columbus set sail that same day.)

·        1555, Pope Paul IV forced the Jews in Rome into a ghetto.

·        1648, The Chielminicki Massacre began, in which Cossacks killed over a quarter million Polish and Ukrainian Jews.

·        1914, World War I started when Russia declared War on Germany.  Germany’s losses in the war set the stage for WWII and the Holocaust (WWII – a continuation of WWI).

·        1929, Mufti Hajj Amin Al Hussein stirs Riots against Jews at Wall, Hebron Massacre ensues.

·        1941, "The Final Solution" to exterminate the Jews was put into effect under SS general Reinhard Heydrich.

·        1942*, Jews began being deported from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp…and The Holocaust begins.

·        1994, Jewish Community Center bombed in Buenos Aires, 86 killed, 300 wounded

·        2005, Jews expelled from Gaza, Israeli homes destroyed, terrorists set up camp…

·        …One week later Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

·        2006 Lebanon War breaks out.

Tisha B'Av is observed by fasting from both food and water from sundown to sundown.  The book of Lamentations is read during the day.  In the morning on Tisha B'Av, Deuteronomy 4:25-40 and Jeremiah 8:13, 9:1-23 are read describing Israel's iniquity and exile and desolation, and in the afternoon the Jews read Exodus 32:11-14 and Isaiah 55-56.  However, even in a time of mourning, these passages offer words of hope and future comfort.

According to tradition, while the Temple was destroyed on Tisha B'Av -- it will also be rebuilt on Tisha B'Av, causing the day of great mourning to be turned into a day of feasting and rejoicing (Zechariah 8:19).

Although this holiday is primarily meant to commemorate the destruction of the Temple, it is appropriate to consider on this day the many other tragedies of the Jewish people, many of which occurred on this day, most notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

Tisha B'Av is the culmination of a three week period of increasing mourning, beginning with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which commemorates the first breach in the walls of Jerusalem, before the First Temple was destroyed. During this three week period, weddings and other parties are not permitted, and people refrain from cutting their hair. From the first to the ninth of Av, it is customary to refrain from eating meat or drinking wine (except on the Shabbat) and from wearing new clothing.

The restrictions on Tisha B'Av are similar to those on Yom Kippur: to refrain from eating and drinking (even water); washing, bathing, shaving or wearing cosmetics; wearing leather shoes; engaging in sexual relations; and studying Torah. Work in the ordinary sense of the word [rather than the Shabbat sense] is also restricted. People who are ill need not fast on this day. Many of the traditional mourning practices are observed: people refrain from smiles, laughter and idle conversation, and sit on low stools.

In synagogue, the book of Lamentations is read and mourning prayers are recited. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.


* The 9th of Av 1942 - The first killings started at Treblinka: The first transport of 'deportees' left Malkinia on July 23, 1942, in the morning hours. It was loaded with Jews from the Warsaw ghetto. The train was made up of sixty closed cars, crowded with people. The car doors were locked from the outside, and the air apertures barred with barbed wire.




Even so, Come Lord Jesus …

Steven Edel

Palm Harbor, FLA