As in the past, this will be a joint program with us, Columbia Jewish Congregation and Mishkan Torah. Come and observe with your larger Jewish Community at the Oseh sanctuary.
Tisha B’Av (Hebrew: תִּשְׁעָה בְּאָב[a] IPA: [tiʃʕa bəˈʔav] ( listen), lit. “the ninth of Av“) is an annual fast day in Judaism, on which a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred, primarily the destruction of both the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the Romans in Jerusalem.
The observance of the day includes five prohibitions, most notable of which is a 25-hour fast. The Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem is read in the synagogue, followed by the recitation of kinnot, liturgical dirges that lament the loss of the Temples and Jerusalem. As the day has become associated with remembrance of other major calamities which have befallen the Jewish people, some kinnot also recall events such as the murder of the Ten Martyrs by the Romans, massacres in numerous medieval Jewish communities during the Crusades, and the Holocaust.
- The Twelve Spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought a positive report, while the others spoke disparagingly about the land. The majority report caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair of ever entering the “Promised Land“. For this, they were punished by God that their generation would not enter the land. The midrash quotes God as saying about this event, “You cried before me pointlessly, I will fix for you [this day as a day of] crying for the generations”, alluding to the future misfortunes which occurred on the same date.
- The First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BCE, and the population of the Kingdom of Judah was sent into the Babylonian exile. The First Temple’s destruction began on the 7th of Av (2 Kings 25:8) and continued until the 10th (Jeremiah 52:12). According to the Talmud, the actual destruction of the Temple began on the Ninth of Av, and it continued to burn throughout the Tenth of Av.
- The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, scattering the people of Judea and commencing the Jewish exile from the Holy Land that continues to this day.
- The Romans subsequently crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 500,000 Jewish civilians (approximately 580,000) on August 4, 135 CE.
- Following the Bar Kokhba revolt, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, in 135 CE.
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