Av is the 5th month on the Jewish lunar calendar. Remember like the Jewish feasts, Shabbat and other Jewish events like the 9th of Av begin at sunset and end at sunset on the next day. Hence, in 2015 the 9th of Av occurs at sunset on the 25th of July and ends at sunset on the 26th of July.
……Should I weep in the fifth month (Av), separating myself, as I have done these so many years? Zechariah 7:3
In the fifth month on the 10th day came Nebuzaradan and he burnt the house of the L-RD, Jeremiah 52:12-13
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; andSTUDYING
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.
Tisha B'Av is never observed on Shabbat. If the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av.
The 9th of Av, Tisha b'Av, commemorates a list of catastrophes so severe it's clearly a day set aside by God for suffering.
In the year is 1313 BC. The Israelites are in the desert, recently having experienced the miraculous Exodus, and are now poised to enter the Promised Land. But first they dispatch a reconnaissance mission to assist in formulating a prudent battle strategy. The spies return on the eighth day of Av and report that the land is unconquerable. That night, the 9th of Av, the people cry. They insist that they'd rather GO BACK to Egypt than be slaughtered by the Canaanites. Needless to say, God was highly displeased by this public demonstration of distrust in His power, and the Israelites lack of faith and consequently that generation of Israelites never ENTERS
Land. Only their children have that privilege, after wandering in the desert
for another 38 years for a total of 40 years in the wilderness..
The First Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Av (586 BC). Five centuries later (in 70 AD), as the Romans drew closer to the Second Temple, ready to torch it, the Jews were shocked to realize that their Second Temple was destroyed the same day as the first.
When the Jews rebelled against Roman rule, they believed that their leader, Simon bar Kochba, below, would fulfill their messianic longings. But their hopes were cruelly dashed in 133 AD as the Jewish rebels were brutally butchered in the final battle at Betar. The date of the massacre? Of course—the 9th of Av!
Following the Bar Kokhba revolt, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple and the surrounding area, in 135 AD.
One year after their conquest of Betar, the Romans plowed over the Jewish Temple the Jewish nation's holiest site.
The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 AD on, you guessed it,
Tisha b'Av. In 1492, the Golden Age of Spain came to a close when Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand ORDERED
Jews be banished from the land. The Alhambra Decree, the edict of expulsion was signed on March
31, 1492, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in
order and leave the country. At midnight on the 9th of Av Columbus (Hebrew name Colon) sailed to the New World. The Hebrew date on which no Jew was
allowed any longer to remain in the land where he had enjoyed welcome and PROSPERITY
? Oh, by now you know it—the 9th of Av.
Ready for just one more? World War I began in 1914. And yes, amazingly enough, Germany declared war on Russia, effectively catapulting the First World War into motion, on the 9th of Av, Tisha b'Av.
What do you make of all this? Jews see this as another CONFIRMATION
deeply held conviction that history isn't haphazard; events – even terrible
ones – are part of a Divine plan and have spiritual meaning. The message of
time is that everything has a rational purpose, even though we don't understand
Over time, Tisha B'Av has come to be a Jewish day of mourning, not only for these events, but also for later tragedies. Regardless of the exact dates of these events, for many Jews, Tisha B'Av is the designated day of mourning for them.
Other calamities associated with Tisha B'Av are below:
· The episode of the Golden calf, above, (17th of Tammuz) in which the Hebrews, after their exodus from Egypt, reintroduced idolatry as a form of spirituality.
· The First Crusade officially commenced on August 15, 1096 (Av 24, AM 4856), killing 10,000 Jews in its first month and destroying Jewish communities in France and the Rhineland. 1.2 million Jews were killed by this crusade that started on the 9th of Av.
· The Jews were expelled from France on July 22, 1306 (Av 10, AM 5066).
· Germany entered World War I on August 1–2, 1914 (Av 9-10, AM 5674), which caused massive upheaval in European Jewry and whose aftermath led to the Holocaust.
· On August 2, 1941 (Av 9, AM 5701), SS commander Heinrich Himmler, above, formally received approval from the Nazi Party for "The Final Solution". As a result, the Holocaust began during which almost one third of the world's Jewish population perished.
· On July 23, 1942 (Av 9, AM 5702), began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka.
· Most religious communities use Tisha B'Av to mourn the 6,000,000 Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
· On the 10th of Av the following events took place:
· AMIA bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, above, killing 85 and injuring 300 on 18 July 1994; 10 Av, AM 5754.
· Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza expulsion plan", or Hitnatkut, began 10 Av, AM 5765; 15 August 2005.