Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tisha B'Av

Day of Great Sorrow:  The Ninth day of Av. 

The saddest day on the Jewish calendar is the Ninth of Av, "Tisha B'Av." It is the date when both our Holy Temples were destroyed, and exile, persecution and spiritual blackness began.

Tisha b'Av starts at sundown of the eighth of Av and lasts till the following nightfall. This year, the 9th of Av falls on Shabbat. Because of the holiness of Shabbat, the Fast of the Ninth of Av is postponed to after Shabbat. The fast begins on Shabbat eve at sunset, and continues through, Av 10, till nightfall.

As a kid I would cry at the drop of the hat, my mom would tell me that if I continued to cry she would give me something real to cry about. My Mom however, wasn't the first to use that phrase, it was God who invented it, and he invented it on Tisha B'Av

When Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan, ten of them came back with a report that the land was unconquerable and the fledgling Israeli nation could never defeat those Canaanite giants. This report caused cries throughout the Israelite settlement, they begged Moses to take them back to Egypt.

Just a short time after they witnessed all those miracles; the ten plagues that gave them freedom, the splitting of the Reed Sea, the revelation at Sinai when they received the Ten Commandments, the newly freed slaves lost their faith in God, and his promise to help them conquer the land. They were afraid and wanted to go back into bondage.

God's response was not only the generation that knew slavery would die out in the desert, but that Tisha B'Av will be a horrible day for the Jews until the coming of the Messiah. In other words, like my mom God would give the Jews something to cry about.

From that day forward, horrible things happened to the Jewish people on or around Tisha B'Av. Some of them include:

  • The First Temple was destroyed
  • The Second Temple was destroyed
  • Bar Kokhba's revolt against Rome failed
  • Roman general Turnus Rufus ordered that the Temple area and its surroundings were to be plowed-under. Jerusalem was to be rebuilt as a pagan city – renamed Aelia Capitolina – and access was forbidden to Jews.
  • In 1290 King Edward I expelled the Jews from England
  • In 1492 the deadline for Jews to leave Spain, Convert or Die
  • The beginning of WWI –which lead directly to the rise of Hitler
  • 1941 Hermann Göring ordered SS general Reinhard Heydrich to make all the necessary preparations for the Final Solution.
  • The first transports reached Treblinka and the extermination of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto began on July 23, 1942, Tisha B'av
  • In 1955 El Al Flight 402 was shot down over Bulgarian airspace on the 8th of Av.
  • The AMIA Bombing (Asociación Mutua Israelita Argentina) by terrorists in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 86 and wounded more than 120, was on July 18, 1994, the 10th of Av.
  • In 2004, Barack Obama Gave the Keynote speech at the Democratic Convention on Tisha B'av and was crowned the heir apparent of the Democratic Party. He has proven to be the most anti-Israel President ever.
  • The Disengagement from Gaza began on the 10th of Av 2005, leading to years of rocket bombardment from Hamas into Israel.
  • 2009? President Obama sends Robert Gates to Israel in his first of many attempts dissuade the Jewish State from carrying out military strikes against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Three years ago as of today, the US preached patience while Iran inches closer to Atomic Weapons. Earlier that week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Israel that it would be place under the United States' nuclear umbrella, meaning if the Iranians used nuclear weapons against Israel, the US would retaliate with its nukes (wouldn't that be too late?)
The fast of Tisha B'Av will end on Sunday night.  Regular blogging will resume then.

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